Mask for Mask


JD Scott conjures up unruly personae that are propelled by queer fantasies, youthful regrets, incantations, and apocryphal parables. Mask for Mask is a kaleidoscopic poetry collection, one that is both formally innovative and an imaginative descent into LGBTQ+ undergrounds and underworlds.

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JD Scott is the author of the short story collection Moonflower, Nightshade, All the Hours of the Day (&NOW Books, 2020). Scott’s writing has appeared in Best Experimental Writing, Best New Poets, Denver Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. Mask for Mask is Scott’s debut poetry collection.

“The fact that JD Scott writes about jjimjjimbangs (Korean saunas) should be enough for me to love this collection, but it’s also the fact their poetry is exuberant and scintillating. It’s a magpie’s nest of verbal delights plucked from the late capitalist rituals of wellness, queer kitsch, and text-speak. This book is the queered language of artifice that points at artifice. In a world that buffs our bodies down to whetstones of sameness, Mask for Mask celebrates excess, and I’m all for it.”

—Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings

“JD Scott’s queer-divine poems are both exorbitant and restrained, a decoction of 19th century urges regaled in the ‘lace and stain’ of diction, harnessed in stanzas, belted into the Escalade of lyric and driven through a 21st century synthscape of emporia and empyreans. The result is an ensorcelling surface riven with a deeper moire, to wit: what is the ‘cytoplasm that keeps this car crash together’? Could it be youth, desire, or something altogether rarer, like tenderness, or care.”

—Joyelle McSweeney, author of Toxicon and Arachne

“Melding the profane with the sacred, the mundane with the mythic, JD Scott’s work shines poetry’s searchlight into the nightclub toilets of youthful debauchery to reveal transcendent cathedrals of timeless yearning. Tender as it is bold, spiritual, and erotic, this collection was ‘sucked into my lungs [so] that every exhale after will be called offering.’”

—Heidi Lynn Staples, author of A**A*A*A