The Unbnd Verses now available at Glass Poetry Press

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ADVANCE PRAISE:

“Kwame Opoku-Duku's poetry tells us that what is holy is more real than it is ephemeral, that so much of who we are is who and what we are capable of losing. And then loving. When I read Kwame's work, I recognize the presence of the divine. The divine questioning and the divine longing, the divine whose "definition of holy / changes with each loss," who understands that "rules are only fun when you are the punisher." If there is a god, I want that god to be like the poet moving through this book. Bitter, and real, and kind. The kind of god who sometimes has a hard time being. The kind of god who's got a little bit of the devil. The kind of god who stops to watch a game of pickup basketball somewhere, hands laced through the chainlink fence. I want that god, that Kwame god, because that god would want to know me as much as I want to know myself. And would be as scared of the answer as I perpetually am. Yes, that god, so that when Kwame asks "how much / of beauty is really real," I can show him this book he made.”
Devin G. Kelly

“In The Unbnd Verses, Kwame Opoku-Duku finds the holy in the mundane: the voice of Lauryn Hill, Milly Rocking on the street, walking down the streets of Harlem at 3am. Not only is he delivering a sermon, he's constructing a bible on what it feels like to be both black and full of breath. He's showing us how to love ourselves in spite of fear. How to walk with grief yet not collapse. How to be free and full of belief.”
Karisma Price

“The Unbnd Verses is a buoyant collection in both senses of the word: these carefully constructed poems manage to float with ease; creating worlds with such relish that one feels beckoned into it. I would call this a chapbook full of wisdom, like the Ecclesiastics it references, but as the old head verses in Kwame's beautifully irreverent collection tell us: "Wisdom ain't shit." Instead we get poetry beyond wisdom and beyond meditation on errors, a deep and exhilarating plunge into the praise song. "Lord take everything but my dance moves," Opoku-Duku writes. Reading this has a person thinking the Lord does indeed listen: movement is at the very heart of this writing. Poems sway and slide along the page so smoothly, and with such style, you want to shout them out loud if only to be a part of the transcendence they offer. "What should the nappy-bearded prophet / sing on the day he dies? / that with these verses / I am unbnd." The Unbnd Verses is a dedication to the infinite possibilities of poetry's ability to render the subtlest parts of life to the page. A poetry collection that seizes the disparate strings of the diaspora, and — for a brief and glorious moment — gives it a home between its pages.”
Tova Benjamin

“Have you ever truly wondered what it is you have, asks The Unbnd Verses. The question itself is the answer, and upon no other answer does Kwame Opoku-Duku allow these poems to settle. Instead, each of the many questions implied and asked in The Unbnd Versesopens it wider, until one feels that in this book one sees both a person and a mind larger than the small space ought to allow. What The Unbnd Verses has, what is at the foundation of these musical, delicate, and yet forceful poems, is wondering itself, and that is the gift it gives.”
Shane McCrae