January Poetry Book Club presents Gabrielle Bates, author of Judas Goat

Cover Photo




January Poetry Book Club presents Gabrielle Bates, author of Judas Goat

By The Rumpus

Join us for an exclusive Rumpus Poetry Book Club conversation with Gabrielle Bates for her poetry collection Judas Goat led by Rumpus Poetry Editor, Brian Spears.

About the January Poetry Book Club selection:

Gabrielle Bates’s electric debut collection Judas Goat plumbs the depths of intimate relationships. The book’s eponymous animal is used to lead sheep to slaughter while its own life is spared, and its harrowing existence echoes through this spellbinding collection of forty poems, which wrestle with betrayal and forced obedience, violence and young womanhood, and the “forbidden felt language” of sexual and sacred love.

These poems conjure encounters with figures from scriptures, domesticated animals eyeing the wild, and mothering as a shapeshifting, spectral force; they question what it means to love another person and how to exorcise childhood fears. All the while, the Deep South haunts, and no matter how far away the speaker moves, the South always draws her back home.

Gabrielle Bates is the author of Judas Goat (Tin House, 2023). A Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship finalist, her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, Ploughshares, and American Poetry Review, among other journals. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, she currently lives in Seattle, where she works for Open Books: A Poem Emporium and—with Luther Hughes and Dujie Tahat—co-hosts the podcast The Poet Salon.

Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor at The Rumpus and author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press 2011). He lives in Des Moines.

hosted by

The Rumpus

The Rumpus


Open in Android app

for a better experience