Do Us A Favor
Kevin A. Risner’s stunning collection Do Us a Favor offers us a glimpse into the madness of an America still recovering from the Trump administration—how being an American is truly a game of survival. What do you do in the face of a government taking away your freedoms and the freedoms of the ones you love? What happens when the good American is erased? How do you encapsulate time? How do you prove that there was once joy here? Risner writes, “But I say nothing, we / stand and wait, we blister with anger. / A name from, somewhere over / there / elicits fear…” speaking to the chaos stoked by a presidency of hate. Do Us A Favor walks us to the breaking point, then invites us to storm it.
—Jason B. Crawford, author of Summertime Fine and Twerkable Moments
Kevin A. Risner’s Do Us a Favor is not a destination, but a journey, one whose road map is still unfurling. This resonant collection lives between home and away, familiar and foreign, present and far-flung past. Risner gestures to histories both personal and public in an attempt to answer the question: How did we get here? The answer lies not ahead of us, but behind—in bike tracks, worn paths, and shadows cast across the earth. These lingering poems will keep you warm long after the sun has set.
—Isaura Ren, Founding Editor, perhappened mag & press
Kevin A. Risner’s Do Us a Favor is a stirring genealogical critique of our present moment. In a deft interplay of form, sound, and use of white space, Risner’s poems oscillate to examine “[t]he words we see on screens, on walls, on skin.” In staccato leaps, speakers wonder “[w]hat new city, what new country, what new world is on the other side?” Do Us a Favor balances existential dread and hope, yet these are poems concerned with people, the concrete struggles individuals face on a daily basis. “Make these words brighter than a bonfire”—and this object is the poet’s practice. A powerful and necessary book.
—Charles Kell, author of Cage of Lit Glass