Firebird | 2018

Self-Published | Cover Art by Sabrina Megrani | Out of Print

In his second poetry collection, Darnell Carson bridges mythology and poetry over themes of relationships, race, family, sexuality, and mental, asking the readers to release the fire birds of memory within themselves 



Darnell Carson's Firebird blends mythology, oral tradition, and poetry in an excavation of Black queer survival that is both intensely collective and personal. Carson writes, "I don't remember the city / I was born in / But I remember the house / That raised me" and we are transported between memories, conversations, confessions, and reincarnations of the self in poems that are electric and expansive in their forms. This collection is a gift, a "list of tiny miracles" and miracles larger than language, as the poet writes "It is not blood that binds us / Or an address / Or a last name / It is love."


- Laurel Chen, 2018 Winter Tangerine Fellow

Firebird is a collection of poems that challenges the reader to shift their thinking in a myriad of ways. The author uses personal narratives to communicate the complexities of navigating multiple social spheres. Firebird captures what it means to grapple with and also celebrate our intersections. Darnell Carson vividly offers us a glimpse into his story as he discusses everything from his childhood to his current life. This book encapsulates what it looks like to exist, to survive, and to keep pushing.


- Rudy Francisco, Author of Helium and  I'll Fly Away



Reading Darnell Carson's book, Firebird, gave me a glimpse into his life. It was as if I was pulling back layers of him as I turned each page. I've known Darnell from the open mic/poetry scene in San Diego but I never really knew much about him before I was able to sit down and read his work. One of the things I admire most about his writing is his vulnerability. I learned a lot about the writer reading this book and that meant a lot to me. Seeing someone else get so naked with their words, helped me realize the importance of telling our own story. One of my favorite poems to experience was "Venus". I'm not sure if it was the astrology references (I'm obsessed with the moon & the stars), the honest storytelling, or the happy ending - but reading that story made my heart feel full and it gave me hope. Not only did the author get personal but they got political as well. Darnell took time to speak on major issues in our community and our world while still finding ways to make each story intimate and personable. Firebird is an honest piece of work, constructed by a genuine soul that seems to truly know what love is and how it feels. It is inspirational. It is vulnerable. It is the type of writing work that is, and always will be necessary. I'm thankful Darnell chose to share this work with me & I wish him nothing but success & prosperity with all this book and all his future endeavors.


- Anita D., 2019 IWPS Finalist