Stay Safe received the Kathryn A. Morton Prize and is forthcoming from Sarabande Books in January 2021.
Poems from this collection have recently appeared or are forthcoming in 32 Poems, Colorado Review, Copper Nickel, The Missouri Review, The Offing, Painted Bride Quarterly, and The Southern Review, among others.
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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.’”
“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.”
“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