Silencer Cover


Forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: September 5, 2017

Silencer is available for pre-order through the following:
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound / iBooks / Google / Kobo

ISBN: 978-1328715548

70 pages, 6" x 9", $15.99

Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Oddisee meet traditional verse in this urgent collection of poems by Pushcart Prize winner and NAACP Image Award finalist Marcus Wicker 

From the Publisher: Welcome to Marcus Wicker's Midwest, where the muzzle is always on and where silence and daily microaggressions can chafe away at the faith of a young man grieved by images of gun violence and police brutality in twenty-first-century America. Precisely contradictory, bittersweet, witty, and heartbreaking, Silencer is where the political and the personal collide. Driven by the sounds of hip-hop and reimagined forms and structures, Wicker's explosive second book is composed of poems at war with themselves, verses in which the poet questions his own faith in God, in hope, in the American Dream, and in himself. Pushing our ideas of traditions and expectations, these poems and queries work in concert toward creating a new dialectic.

Advance Praise

"Marcus Wicker's masterful and hard-hitting second collection Silencer is exactly the book we need in this time of malfeasance, systemic violence, and the double-talk that obfuscates it all. Wicker's poems have the wit and rhythmic muscle to push back against the institutional flim-flam. He writes the kinds of vital, clear-eyed poems we can turn to when codeswitching slogans and online power fists no longer get the job done. These are poems whose ink is made from anger and quarter notes. They remind us that to remain silent in the face of aggression is to be complicit and to be complicit is not an option for any of us."

 —Adrian Matejka, author of The Big Smoke

"Silencer disarms and dazzles with its wisdom and full-throated wit. Wicker's highly-anticipated second collection snaps to attention with a soundtrack full of salty swagger and a most skillful use of formal inventions that'll surely knock you out. Here in these pages, sailfish and hummingbirds assert their frenetic movements on a planet simmering with racial tensions, which in turn forms its own kind of bopping and buoyant religion. What a thrill to read these poems that provoke and beg for beauty and song-calling into the darkest of nights."

—Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of Lucky Fish and poetry editor at Orion magazine

"Silencer is an important book of American poetry: wonderfully subtle, wholly original, and subversive. Politics and social realities aside, this is foremost a book that delights in language, how it sounds to the ear and plays to the mind.  We have suburban complacency played against hip-hop resistance, Christian prayers uttered in the face of dread violence, real meaning pitted against materialism, and love, in its largest measure, set against ignorance.  To say Silencer is a tour de force would be an understatement. What a work of true art this is, and what a gift Marcus Wicker has given to us."

—Maurice Manning, author of One Man's Dark and The Gone and the Going Away

"With Silencer, Marcus Wicker writes a country, and that country is this country, these United States, right now, and that country is also black. In poem after poem, and with one of the best ears in the game, Wicker demonstrates the simple and difficult truth that we, as Americans, make each other, inescapably—Wicker's America is a black America because it is America. But Silencer isn't, for all that, a place of congratulatory hugs and campfire songs. How could it be? It is a place where we are seen: 'Black squirrels, / they fit in, get along. Know no one. / They see other black squirrels & run.' "

—Shane McCrae, author of In the Language of My Captor and The Animal Too Big to Kill

Bullet More on Silencer

Maybe the Saddest ThingMaybe the Saddest Thing

"Flashing and dipping. Sampling and riffing. Action painting meets the pop of hip-hop. Here is a dashing figure of speech and preach, a lovepoet to the stars. In the words of L.L. Cool J: Bring in the funk, baby. "I am certain of nothing but of the holiness of the Heart's affections, and the truth of the Imagination," wrote Keats. Keats, too, would have admired the holy truth of Marcus Wicker, whose lyric wizardry astounds the ear in conclamant melodies and astonishes the eye 'like a shard of glass catches a beam.' "

– D.A. Powell, author of Chronic

96 pages, 5.3" x 8", $13.99, Harper Perennial, 2012
Purchase: Barnes & Noble / Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's

Read more reviews for Maybe the Saddest Thing.