The New Knew

Thirty West Publishing House, 2019

Advance Praise

“Olatunde Osinaike’s The New Knew is an exercise in vulnerability and intimacy. “Break me down into constellations,” the speaker in “Self-Portrait as a Cardboard Box” pleas, and that is precisely what Osinaike does in these pages. Highlighting what it is to be black in a world on edge with language that evokes the best poets, emcees, and slow-crooners alike, he breaks his world down - breaks himself down - and asks us to do the same. To open ourselves up to each other, to the pleasures and pains of this world, and, most of all, to ourselves.”

- Malcolm Friend, author of Our Bruises Kept Singing Purple (winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Prize)

“In The New Knew, Olatunde Osinaike combines a razor-sharp wit, tenderness, and a musical ear to create a work that interrogates the way America views the black body, as well as the way America defines itself. His poems are restless, searching for truth, joy, and love in a world that is more than often lacking in it. Osinaike’s poems deftly highlight the fragility of black existence in the wake of this country’s long racist tradition, but what makes these poems special is the way they work toward defining blackness on its own terms. They sing toward the light, even with darkness all around them. When Osinaike writes - “Siren says / fix your mouth / into a hollow hallelujah / crescendo your prayer / and hope they reach / your dreams fast enough” - it is both a warning and an instruction manual from the ancestors on how to get through it all. A work of the body that speaks to the soul.”

- Kwame Opoku-Duku, author of The Unbnd Verses (winner of the Glass Chapbook Series)


TAR Chapbook Series, 2019

Winner of the Atlas Review’s CHAPBOOK CONTEST

Shortlisted at Autumn House Press, Seven Kitchens Press, Big Lucks Press, AND C&R Press

Advance Praise

“Olatunde Osinaike’s Speech Therapy is so nuanced, refined, and complex. Oppositions and inquiries dominate this collection. The lyric voice maintains a careful and satisfying intelligence throughout. It feels major, the pains this speaker takes to be simultaneously complicit of patriarchal violence as he is also viciously aware of being hemmed forever into the margins. The verse, which often manifests itself in couplets, tercets, and other uniform forms, reckons with such paradoxical balance: the veneer of order braces against what Osinaike calls a weaponized convenience. He tells us “Certainty alone has not kept me,” and, in the same poem, invites us into his landscape of opposites: “I invite you to think of when you, too, have stepped / with the realness of your bright tongue amidst this daunting world / pitch-dark and as perfect as desired.” Speech Therapy’s diction marks its energy and intelligence. It accesses high and low registers while maintaining a voice, earnest and saturated in contradiction. The collection is a gift, a wealth, a truth.”