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saints of the household

Told in alternating points of view using vignettes and poems, debut author Ari Tison crafts an emotional, slow-burning drama about brotherhood, abuse, recovery, and doing the right thing. Max and Jay have always depended on one another for their survival at home.

When they hear a classmate in trouble in the woods, instinct takes over and they intervene. As the true details of that afternoon unfold, Max and Jay grapple with the weight of their actions, their shifting relationship as brothers, and the realization that they may be more like their father than they thought. They'll have to reach back to their Bribri roots to find their way forward.

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march 28, 2023


praise for saints of the household

"This lyrical debut knocks it out of the park"

"Poised to be one of those titles we'll all be talking about come spring"
-Paste Magazine

"Striking, assured debut...remarkably compelling"
-Kirkus, starred review

"Tison's writing is staggering...this book is an elegiac triumph that puts the human heart in the reader's hands"
-bccB, Starred review

"This vulnerable and magnetic tale of brotherhood beongs on every shelf"
-SLJ, Starred review



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Ari is a Bribri (Indigenous Costa Rican) American and African descended poet and the author of YA hybrid poetry & prose novel Saints of the Household  (2023) and another YA (2024) with FSG/Macmillan. She is a contributor in Our Shadows Have Claws a YA folklore and horror Latine anthology with Algonquin Young Readers and forthcoming in ReLit Anthology of classic retellings with a Latine lens with Harper Collins.

Her poems and short works have been published in Yellow Medicine Review, The Under Review, Rock & Sling, and POETRY's first ever edition for children.

She was the winner of the 2018 Vaunda Micheaux Nelson award for a BIPOC writer with Lerner Publishing. She is on faculty at Hamline's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults Program. 



Ari is an autoethnographer and folklorist. She studies Bribri stories, language, and retellings with her mentor and her studies often inform her work.  

She grew up in the literary Twin Cities of Minnesota and is grateful to be surrounded by storytellers since the beginning! 



Community & representation

Ari is represented by Sara Crowe at Pippin Properties and is a member of Las Musas, a founding member of Diverse Verse, and other literary collectives. She lives in a valley farm in Wisconsin, on the traditional, contemporary, and ancestral lands of the Dakota people. She lives with her musician and educator husband, Grey and child.

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