Praise for Derrick Austin's Trouble the Water "In Austin's hands, the exquisite can be ominous while the grotesque can turn charming, and his poems wisely assert that the world is unforgiving and yet full of mercy–that one can question beauty and yet still be beholden to it."
–Publishers Weekly "This is quite simply one of the most charged commentaries on race, sex, and film I have ever read, and the form never lets us forget what we're talking about."
–The Rumpus "Precise and focused, Austin's language often seems ekphrastic, as though he had a picture in front of him as he writes. In a few of the poems, he clearly does, but it is his voice and vision, not his method, that are ekphrastic."
"For the gay black body, the gay black speaker who is the main voice of this book, there is no separating racist interactions from homophobic ones. Articulations of danger and desire, passion and pain–interactions with the white world, the straight world–are expressed through the murkiness of prejudice, of the compounded baggage of seemingly mutually exclusive histories."
–Los Angeles Review of Books