Thresh and Hold
Marlanda Dekine's debut collection is a holy, radical unlearning and reclamation of self. What does it mean to be a Gullah-Geechee descendant from a rural place where a third of the nation's founding wealth was harvested by trafficked West and Central Africans? Dekine's poems travel across age and time, signaling that both the past and future exist in the present. Through erasure and persona, Dekine reimagines intergenerational traumas and calls institutions from the Works Progress Administration narratives to modern-day museums to task. Beyond gospel music, fear, and the stories of generations past, Thresh & Hold offers magic, healing, and innovative pathways to manifest intimacy. Dekine remembers, remakes, and brings forth their many selves, traveling far in order to deeply connect to a spiritual home within and all around them, calling: "I am listening to Spirit. I am not dying today." Marlanda Dekine is the winner of the 2021 New Southern Voices Poetry Prize.