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Let Our Eyes Linger

Hayes Davis’ debut collection of poetry, Let Our Eyes Linger delves deeply into the author’s life as son, grandson, father, husband, and artist, while illuminating currents of racial identity and the plight of other black men. These include Jim, the runaway slave from Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, who speaks here in his own in poems that deepen one of the most complicated and controversial characters in American Literature. 

Toi Derricotte writes that “Davis’ poems invite comparisons with Robert Hayden and Gwendolyn Brooks’ poems of 20th century family life.  He uses enormous formal skill to anchor the poems, but it is the great heart at the center that wins us.

Stanley Plumly lauds a "first collection that is as much about art as it is about autobiography, and both lessons have been well learned.  This is a book that validates a life, just as it reaffirms the quality of the poetry that represents its story.”

Honorée Fanonne Jeffers says Davis "bravely reveals love, fatherhood, and loss, truths that stand both on and off the page. As each moment renders its dappled wisdom, the reader suddenly understands:  We need such truth—such vulnerability—in the word."

”Reginald Dwayne Betts calls the book “a testament to how the stories we tell ourselves to get through the day can become the poetry that speaks to more than our own existence.”


Joshua Weiner praises poems “that dramatize the contingencies of family; of its direct influence on the kinds of language we speak…that draw honestly the flight of eros from the domestic scene, as well as the endurance of love & devotion.”




Poetry Mutual ( is a Washington DC-based poetry press and poetry incubator. Our publishing goal is to bring out beautifully-designed books that showcase the poetry and authors we love. We're based in Washington, DC. Our heteronymic imprints are VRZHU Press, Beothuk Books, and Souvenir Spoon Books.

A poetry book cover with white writing over a chalk art piece of faces and a Black woman's body.
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