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Published by Sarabande Books in January 2021, Stay Safe received the Kathryn A. Morton Prize and was a finalist for the 2022 Reading the West Book Award in Poetry and the John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters.

Poems from this collection appeared in 32 Poems, Colorado ReviewCopper NickelThe Missouri Review, The OffingPainted Bride Quarterly, and The Southern Review, among others, as well as on The Paris Review Podcast and The Slowdown.

Praise for Stay Safe

“In this exuberant debut, Hine weaves a complex family narrative around the constant presence of a story-loving mother and three sisters.... This excellent work offers a prayer for the current calamitous moment.”

Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Simply said: this is the renewable energy we’ve been waiting for. So attuned are these poems to their introspective nature and terrors of the self, their wild narratives, and linguistic spells, this book begins to feel like its own solar farm: each page, a panel of skyshine and wonderments.”
―Major Jackson

“Emma Hine’s remarkable debut claims as its title an impossible injunction: stay safe. What does it mean to stay, to remain, to arrest a state of being that is fully immune to danger, which is to say, to living? Hine circles this impossibility in poems of dark lyricism, ones commanding our attention to the body at risk: its hidden danger zones, its collisions and impacts, its relentless hurtle forward. Like the speaker in these poems, we’re made to understand we’re ‘not strong, not / permanent, just holding.’ Stay Safe limns personal and collective griefs with searing insight, showing us how mythology and language can transmute fear and loss into something redemptive, something of strange beauty. This is a collection that is startling in its revelations and the latitudes it traverses, and Hine is a tremendous voice reminding us what it is to mark an existence and to endure.”
―Jenny Xie

“Emma Hine's debut collection Stay Safe is like a rumble strip alerting her readers to potential dangers ahead, awakening us to the ‘quivering systems of energy and grief’ we traverse. The coming-of-age poems ripple with ominous sexuality and an awareness of loss ahead. Family history is transformed into near fairytale, and vice versa. ‘Expect sometimes to be lonely,’ a mother says in one of many poems charged with both love and loss. Hine's gift for metaphor marks these quiet hallucinations and keeps them free of sentimentality even when they pulse with feeling: ‘Waves touch shore in little habitual apologies.’ Taken together and singly, these poems become ‘a torch into the tunnel-end of risk.’”
―Catherine Barnett

“These poems make good promise of what can be found in spades in the book: world-building, a family’s emotional journey made mythic, but done in a way that we can still see our own lives and anxieties reflected in it. These poems are imaginative and sweeping, but still let us touch the ground.”

Jihyun Yun, Lyric Essentials

“Emma Hine’s debut poetry collection Stay Safe is a fiercely, lovingly crafted book that celebrates the endurance of the human spirit in the face of an ever-dimming future.”

Ali Hintz, The Arkansas International

“I’ve been thinking about that dissonance, that looking but not looking, and it is an apt way to consider Hine’s method: a catalogue of bodies spent and passed, of sisters, of those who “want to say that together / we could be two words / the sort that hold hands / but still keep their original meanings.”

Nick Ripatrazone, The Millions

Emma Hine's edgily conversational Stay Safe (Sarabande, Jan.) depicts three young sisters and their imaginative ways of warding off grief.

Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal“Books and Authors to Know: Poetry Titles to Watch 2021

Emma Hine’s debut poetry collection, Stay Safe, is a dreamy, haunting exploration of love and loss. Her poems wander between the literal and the esoteric, loosely drawn together by a narrative that ebbs and flows throughout the book. At its heart is the story of a family who suffers a string of tragedies—some dramatic and surreal, others intimate and benign.

Betsy Arant, Seven Ponds

It is pristine poetry: no word out of place, no roving comma, no ill-conceived image, no lines running wild off the beaten path. It's almost painful in its precision, like a deep wound caused by the sharp edge of a knife.

Sarah D'Stair, The Rupture

Emma Hine’s imaginative appetite bewilders and delights. The poet teaches us that we can become something more, something other, both with and against protection, but not without extraordinary curiosity and the willingness to be transformed—the reader may take her pick from raccoon carcass, dilapidated house, a living room floor turned garden bed, or shark-bitten great uncle.

Grace Sutphin, Salt Hill Journal

Stay Safe is designed to unsteady you: one moment you’re grounded on earth, lulled by oceanic words like sargassum, and then you’re spun into outer space with a multi-page sci-fi prose poem that tethers space travel to an excavation of family. 

J. M. Farkas, Ploughshares

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