Cameron Awkward-Rich’s debut is a stunning announcement of a voice that demands we move closer as much as it wishes we’d go away. The ornate emotional terrain of these poems is charted with the poet’s sometimes spare, sometimes wild, always skilled lyric. We are invited into a story Awkward-Rich suggest we “know all the words” to, but damn if it doesn’t sound better when this poet tells us. As much about stillness as it is about transition, Sympathetic Little Monster is at once analytical, magical, confession, dismissive, but ultimately, and simply, a collection breaking new ground in Trans, Queer, Black, and American Letters. For many, Awkward-Rich’s poems will burst open the mind, the heart, and even some doors, but when you get in there, just leave him alone.