Book cover preview for Wreck by Michael Akuchie. Features a young Black man praying while a bird perches on his fingertips. The background is red and illuminating.


Michael Akuchie, 2020

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Wreck is a rendition that dives into the innards of the persona’s life and churns out poem after poem. Each poem stretches from love to happiness to grief to loss to suicidal tendencies. There is a large slice of divinity in this body of work as the persona seeks desperately a higher being to lean on in a life lacking fragrance.

Wreck is the winning chapbook of the 2019-2020 Hellebore Poetry Scholarship Award and was selected by José Olivarez, Author of Citizen Illegal.

Book Information

Page count: 27 pages
Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5
Format: Saddle Stitch Binding, Chapbook Print

Shipping Information

All books are shipped and distributed by The Hellebore Press. Please allow 7-10 days for orders to be shipped. Due to COVID-19 delays and restrictions, shipping locations may be limited and waiting periods may be extended. Your patience is appreciated. Thank you for supporting independent press.

About the Author

Michael Akuchie is an Igbo-Esan poet. Michael has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net Anthology, and Orison Anthology respectively. Winner of the 2020 Roadrunner Poetry Prize, he tweets @Michael_Akuchie, serves as Peer Reviewer for Poetry at Whale Road Review and reads submissions for Frontier Poetry. He has poems forthcoming with Poet Lore, The Rumpus, The Black Fork Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Ecotheo Review, The Malahat Review, Whale Road Review, Gordon Square Review, and Moonchild Magazine.

Praise for Wreck

The poems here are excellently crafted, and each one sings.

José Olivarez, Author of Citizen Illegal

What ghosts haunt your dreams and what silence does your body harbor? These are the questions–and truths–that Nigerian poet Michael Akuchie crashes against in his debut chapbook, Wreck. He confesses: “I lie here sobbing, channeling the empire/ of my body into an enclosure.” And within that enclosed empire, we witness his nation, his lineage, his suffering, his joys.

Alan Chazaro, Author of Piñata Theory

This collection is a gorgeous rendering of how one contends with the complexities of the human experience.

Chelsea Dingman, Author of Through a Small Ghost, What Bodies Have I Moved and Thaw

A lyrical rendering on relationship— with self, God, lover, father— sometimes elegiac, sometimes rapturous. Akuchie effortlessly maps the tension parallel among these dynamics in ways that blur their distinctions. Thus, romantic love becomes an exercise of faith or doubt.

O-Jeremiah Agbaakin, 2020 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets Finalist

Wreck is a collection that encounters limits and leaps beyond them. It’s the kind of poetry that configures a place to belong in, a place that is both new, and “renewed by ink.”

Alycia Pirmohamed, Author of Faces That Fled the Wind & Hinge