Finalist 2021 Relit Award
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In Mythical Man, David Ly builds, and then tears down, an army of men in a quest to explore personhood in the 21st century. Tenderness, toxic masculinity, nuances of queer love, and questions of race and identity mix in Ly’s poetry, casting a spell that enters like “a warm tongue on a first date.” Mythical Man is an authentic and accomplished debut.
Praise for Mythical Man
Mythical Man walks out of the dreamscape and plunges straight into your heart. David Ly’s debut collection is a shimmering mirage, a shapeshifting vision that bares both its fangs and its throat to deliver the sexiest, most exciting gay poetry you’ve read in years. Fairytale themes, contemporary gay culture, and the emotional geography of diaspora come together to form a marvellous beast that challenges mainstream notions of male beauty, gay sex, and Asian identity. Ly’s voice is as raw as the cry of a wolf, but his use of language is as meticulous as the construction of a honeybee’s hive. These are poems that snarl, whine, gurgle, hiss, and rattle like the wild longing that’s lived in your soul for as long as you can remember. Read them.— Kai Cheng Thom, author of a place called No Homeland
In his aching debut, David Ly shatters any myth that racism doesn’t continue to pervade queer spaces. Thick with desire, and self-interrogation, these poems reject normative ideas of manhood to create something new.—Vivek Shraya, author of I’m Afraid of Men