Boy with Thorn
Laurentiis's debut collection, winner of the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, oscillates between a lament for the brutalization of black bodies throughout history and a celebration of the pleasures of sexuality and desire. . . . an anxious tension that haunts the book; Laurentiis's difficulty in reconciling his relationship to canonical art, art's relationship to white supremacy, and his dual celebration of and mourning for lives at society's margins. Yet Laurentiis possesses the formal tools of a strong poet, and instead of reading too deeply into such a sociopolitical critique, potential readers should see that this promising writer still has room to grow.