Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley and Rick Barot for Dēmos

Loyalty is thrilled to host Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley in conversation with Rick Barot for the recent release of Dēmos. This event will be held digitally via Crowdcast. Click here to register for the event with a donation of any amount of your choice. Donations will go to Black Lives Matter DC. You can order the book below to be automatically added to the registration list and there will also be an option to snag the book during the event.


“Unflinching, unrelenting, disarming, and brilliant . . . A powerhouse collection of poems by a powerhouse poet.” —VICTORIA CHANG

From the intersection of Onondaga, Japanese, Cuban, and Appalachian cultures, Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley’s newest collection arrives brimming with personal and political histories.

“‘You tell me how I was born what I am,’” demands Naka-Hasebe Kingsley—of himself, of the reader, of the world. The poems of Dēmos: An American Multitude seek answers in the Haudenosaunee story of The Lake and Her children; in the scope of a .243 aimed at a pregnant doe; in the Dōgen poem jotted on a napkin by his obaasan; in a flag burning in a church parking lot. Here, Naka-Hasebe Kingsley places multiracial displacement, bridging disparate experiences with taut, percussive language that will leave readers breathless.

With astonishing formal range, Dēmos also documents the intolerance that dominates American society. What can we learn from mapping the genealogy of a violent and loud collective? How deeply do anger, violence, and oppression run in the blood? From adapted Punnett squares to Biblical epigraphs to the ghastly comment section of a local news website, Dēmos diagrams surviving America as an other-ed American—and it refuses to flinch from the forces that would see that multitude erased.

Dēmos is a resonant proclamation of identity and endurance from one of the most intriguing new voices in American letters—a voice singing “long on America as One / body but many parts.”


Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley belongs to the Onondaga Nation of Indigenous Americans in New York. He is the author of DēmosColonize Me and Not Your Mama’s Melting Pot, winners and finalists of over a dozen awards. Affrilachian poet and Kundiman alum, Naka-Hasebe Kingsley is recipient of the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and Tickner Fellowships. His work has appeared in numerous publications such as The BreakBeat Poets: LatiNEXT, Native Voices: Honoring Indigenous PoetryThe Georgia ReviewKenyon ReviewOxford American, Poetry, & Tin House. He is an assistant professor of poetry and nonfiction in Old Dominion University’s MFA program.


Rick Barot was born in the Philippines and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the author of The Galleons, which was longlisted for the National Book Award, as well as three previous collections of poems: The Darker FallWant; which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and won the 2009 Grub Street Book Prize; and ChordChord received the UNT Rilke Prize, the PEN Open Book Award, and the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award. It was also a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Poetry, the New Republic, Tin House, Kenyon Review, and the New Yorker. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Artist Trust of Washington, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and Stanford University. He is the poetry editor for New England Review. He lives in Tacoma, Washington, and directs The Rainier Writing Workshop, the low-residency MFA program in creative writing at Pacific Lutheran University.

Please note Loyalty has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during this virtual event. 

Event date: 
Thursday, April 1, 2021 - 8:00pm
Event address: 
Dēmos: An American Multitude Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571315250
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - March 9th, 2021

The Galleons: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571315236
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - February 11th, 2020