Growing up, Roya Marsh was considered “tomboy passing.” With an affinity for baggy clothes, cornrows, and bandanas, she came of age in an era when the wide spectrum of gender and sexuality was rarely acknowledged or discussed. She knew she was “different,” her family knew she was “different,” but anything outside of the heteronorm was either disregarded or disparaged.
In her stunning debut, written in protest to an absence of representation, Marsh recalls her early life and the attendant torments of a butch Black woman coming of age in America. In lush, powerful, and vulnerable verses, dayliGht unpacks traumas to unearth truths, revealing a deep well of resilience, a cutting sense of irony, and an astonishing fresh talent.
dayliGht is a dazzling collection of poems from a necessary new voice, at once a clarion call for stories of Black women and a rebuke of broken notions of sexuality and race.
Praise for dayliGht
“dayliGht has a singular, potent, and persistent swagger—like if KRS-One had written Stone Butch Blues. In this tear-jerkingly matter-of-fact collection, Roya Marsh doesn’t propose an escape of past traumas but rather, sits in the cut, ponders, and comes back with her lyrical gun cocked, ready to even some shit up. This butch is so done with your bullshit, and this is her book of receipts. dayliGht is a breakthrough masterpiece. I can’t stop crying, and I won’t stop crying. Get. Into. It.”
—Brontez Purnell, 2018 Whiting Award winner and author of Since I Laid My Burden Down
“Saturated with wit, wonder, and heartbreak, dayliGht is an intimate collection that is relentless in its examination of the intersections of womanhood, queerness, and Blackness. A brilliant debut book of poems.”
—Elizabeth Acevedo, National Book Award-winning author of The Poet X
“Roya Marsh’s debut is at turns gripping, angry, and joyful—and always powerful. I love these poems for the small wonders I find in each one. In comparing her mother’s cancer to gentrification, for example, she reveals much about both. These poems are crafted out of a love for self and for the selves that might grow when given a chance to heal. dayliGht is a revelation.”
—José Olivarez, author of the PEN/Jean Stein Award–nominated poetry collection Citizen Illegal
Roya Marsh is a Bronx, New York, native and a nationally recognized poet, performer, educator, and activist. She is the Poet in Residence at Urban Word NYC and she works feverishly toward LGBTQIA justice and dismantling white supremacy. Marsh’s work has been featured on NBC, BET, Button Poetry, Write About Now Poetry, Def Jam’s All Def Digital, and in Poetry magazine, Flypaper Magazine, Frontier Poetry, The Village Voice, Nylon, Huff Post, Lexus Verses and Flow, and The BreakBeat Poets Volume 2: Black Girl Magic (Haymarket 2018).