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Woke Up No Light

Woke Up No Light


Leila Mottley
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A poignant and rousing debut book of poetry from the acclaimed, best-selling author of the novel Nightcrawling, also the former Youth Poet Laureate of Oakland, CA 

Leila Mottley follows her trailblazing first novel with a perfectly pitched first collection of poems that demonstrate her energy and range. woke up no light is full of heart and edge, subtlety and fluidity. Moving in sections from "girlhood" to "neighborhood" to "falsehood" to, finally, "womanhood," these poems open up the experiences of a young Black woman with immediacy and wisdom. Mottley sets forth personal and political revelation with piercing detail. In "Crow Call," Mottley casts her vision wide enough to take in history, the ongoing struggle for justice across generations. In "For the Women I Twerk To," she zeroes in on a body in motion, with intimacy and abandon.

woke up no light confirms Leila Mottley's arrival and demonstrates the enduring power of her voice--brave and distinctive and thoroughly her own.


Leila Mottley is the author of the novel Nightcrawling, an Oprah's Book Club pick and a New York Times best seller. She is also the 2018 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate. She was born and raised in Oakland, where she continues to live.


  • Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: April 16, 2024
  • Pages: 128
  • Dimensions: 6.0 X 9.0 X 0.38 inches | 0.77 pounds
  • Language: English
  • Type: Hardcover
  • EAN/UPC: 9780593319710
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