The Black Condition ft. Narcissus is preemptive memoir, documenting the beginning of the author's gender transition and paralleling the inauguration of our latest Administration. These poems speak to and from fears holed up inside while contextualizing the cosmic impacts of our political landscape. Ranging from autobiographic melancholy to rigorously meditative, here is a necessary voice to process the world, predicated on unknowable desire and blossoming tragedy.
jayy dodd is a blxk trans femme from Los Angeles. They are a literary & performance artist. their work has appeared / will appear in Broadly, The Establishment, Entropy, LitHub, BOAAT Press, Duende, & The Poetry Foundation among others. they're the Workshops Director for Winter Tangerine, editor of A Portrait in Blues (Platypus Press 2017), author of Mannish Tongues (Platypus Press 2017) & The Black Condition ft. Narcissus (Nightboat Books 2019). their work has been featured in Teen Vogue & Entropy. they are also a volunteer gender-terrorist & artificial intellectual. find them talking trash online or taking a selfie.
In Black Feminism Reimagined Jennifer C. Nash reframes black feminism's engagement with intersectionality, often celebrated as its primary intellectual and political contribution to feminist theory. Charting the institutional history and contemporary uses of intersectionality in the academy, Nash outlines how women's studies has both elevated intersectionality to the discipline's primary program-building initiative and cast intersectionality as a threat to feminism's coherence. As intersectionality has become a central feminist preoccupation, Nash argues that black feminism has been marked by a single affect—defensiveness—manifested by efforts to police intersectionality's usages and circulations. Nash contends that only by letting go of this deeply alluring protectionist stance, the desire to make property of knowledge, can black feminists reimagine intellectual production in ways that unleash black feminist theory's visionary world-making possibilities.
Half poems, half prose, Dear Angel of Death braids intimate and public thinking about forms of togetherness. Is one woman a mother, a person in an artworld, a "black"? What imaginary and real spirits are her guides? The title essay proposes disinvestment in the idea of the Music as the highest form of what blackness "is" and includes many forms: philosophical divergence on the problem of folds for black life, a close reading of Nathaniel Mackey's neverending novel From a Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate, and an impassioned defense-cum-dismissal of contemporary hip hop's convergence with capitalism. - publishers note.
Simone White is the author of DEAR ANGEL OF DEATH (Ugly Duckling Presse), OF BEING DISPERSED (Futurepoem), and House Envy of All the World (Factory School), and the chapbooks Unrest (Ugly Duckling Presse) and Dolly (with Kim Thomas; Q Avenue). Recent poems and prose have appeared in BOMB, New York Times Book Review, Harper's, and Frieze. In 2017, she received the Whiting Award for poetry. She teaches at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Brooklyn.
The poems in Avowed explore aspects of a contemporary lesbian life within a committed relationship and as a citizen in the larger community. The narrator celebrates ("We break a glass. Mazel tov! We cry.") and mourns her losses ("Sometimes, between three and four a.m./on a break from her game/of bridge, your dead mother visits."). Riffing on Jewish liturgy, the feminist declares "everyday/I thank God/I was born a woman." Avowed delivers a complex, sustained vision of intimate partnership while celebrating the political changes that have secured LGBTQ visibility. - Robin Becker, author of Tiger Heron
'Avowed asks the critical question, "Is paper all that makes a marriage?" For the queer bride in a long-term relationship, the answer is as hard-won as the right to marry. Julie R. Enszer explores the bittersweet journey of a lesbian couple's struggle through the happily ever after with an edgy and humorous perspective that dares to share deep truths about desire, sex, and love. - Rigoberto GonzAlez, author of Unpeopled Eden
Blackfishing the IUD is a daring and demanding memoir by author, Caren Beilin, about reproductive health and the IUD, gendered illness, medical gaslighting, and activism in the chronic illness community. Rhapsodic and unabashedly polemical, Beilin scrutinizes the literary, artistic, and medical history of Rheumatoid Arthritis, as she considers the copper IUD's role in triggering her sudden onset of chronic autoimmunity. As the title makes abundantly clear, the book is an argument that the copper IUD is sickening quite a lot of women--and that we listen first and foremost to women's testimony to begin to resolve it.
As I read I thought of alchemy, Beilin is an alchemist. She transmutes metal, in this case copper, into something that flames and sings and questions and fights. It's a supranatural work that quests after healing but also finds and makes sense in its paradoxes."—Johanna Hedva
In these essays, the acclaimed artist, photographer, writer, and filmmaker Moyra Davey often begins with a daily encounter--with a photograph, a memory, or a passage from a book--and links that subject to others, drawing fascinating and unlikely connections, until you can almost feel the texture of her thinking. While thinking and writing, she weaves together disparate writers and artists--Mary Wollstonecraft, Jean Genet, Virginia Woolf, Janet Malcolm, Chantal Akerman, and Roland Barthes, among many others--in a way that is both elliptical and direct, clearheaded and personal, prismatic and self-examining, layering narratives to reveal the thorny but nourishing relationship between art and life.
This collection, 39 poems written between 1987 and 1992, is the final volume by "a major American poet whose concerns are international, and whose words have left their mark on many lives, in the words of Adrienne Rich.
Audre Lorde (1934-1992) was the author of ten volumes of poetry and five works of prose. She was named New York State Poet in 1991; her other honors include the Manhattan Borough President s Award for Excellence in the Arts. The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1994."
Memories that evoke the physical awareness of touch, smell, and bodily presence can be vital links to home for people living in diaspora from their culture of origin. How can filmmakers working between cultures use cinema, a visual medium, to transmit that physical sense of place and culture? In The Skin of the Film Laura U. Marks offers an answer, building on the theories of Gilles Deleuze and others to explain how and why intercultural cinema represents embodied experience in a postcolonial, transnational world.
Much of intercultural cinema, Marks argues, has its origin in silence, in the gaps left by recorded history. Filmmakers seeking to represent their native cultures have had to develop new forms of cinematic expression. Marks offers a theory of “haptic visuality”—a visuality that functions like the sense of touch by triggering physical memories of smell, touch, and taste—to explain the newfound ways in which intercultural cinema engages the viewer bodily to convey cultural experience and memory. Using close to two hundred examples of intercultural film and video, she shows how the image allows viewers to experience cinema as a physical and multisensory embodiment of culture, not just as a visual representation of experience. Finally, this book offers a guide to many hard-to-find works of independent film and video made by Third World diasporic filmmakers now living in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada.
The Skin of the Film draws on phenomenology, postcolonial and feminist theory, anthropology, and cognitive science. It will be essential reading for those interested in film theory, experimental cinema, the experience of diaspora, and the role of the sensuous in culture.
Situating non-violence at the cross-roads of the ethical and political, The Force of Non-Violence brings into focus the ethical binds that emerge within the force field of violence. Non-violence is very often misunderstood as a passive practice that emanates from a calm region of the soul, or as an individualist ethic with an unrealistic relation to existing forms of power.
This book argues for an aggressive form of non-violence that struggles with psychic ambivalence and seeks to embody social ideals of inter-dependency and equality. Only through a critique of individualism can the ethical and political ideal of non-violence be understood in relation to the ideal of equality and the demand for grievability. In this psychosocial and philosophical reflection that draws upon Foucault, Fanon, Freud, and Benjamin, Butler argues that to oppose violence now requires understanding its different modalities, including the regulation of the grievability of lives.
The book shows how "racial and demographic phantasms" enter into the rationale for inflicting state violence and other modes of "letting die" by investing violence in those who are most severely exposed to its effects and subjugated to its lethal power. The struggle for non-violence is found in modes of resistance and movements for social transformation that separate off aggression from its destructive aims to affirm the living potentials of radical egalitarian politics
In Necropolitics Achille Mbembe, a leader in the new wave of francophone critical theory, theorizes the genealogy of the contemporary world, a world plagued by ever-increasing inequality, militarization, enmity, and terror as well as by a resurgence of racist, fascist, and nationalist forces determined to exclude and kill. He outlines how democracy has begun to embrace its dark side---what he calls its “nocturnal body”---which is based on the desires, fears, affects, relations, and violence that drove colonialism. This shift has hollowed out democracy, thereby eroding the very values, rights, and freedoms liberal democracy routinely celebrates. As a result, war has become the sacrament of our times in a conception of sovereignty that operates by annihilating all those considered enemies of the state. Despite his dire diagnosis, Mbembe draws on post-Foucauldian debates on biopolitics, war, and race as well as Fanon's notion of care as a shared vulnerability to explore how new conceptions of the human that transcend humanism might come to pass. These new conceptions would allow us to encounter the Other not as a thing to exclude but as a person with whom to build a more just world.
Sex, or the Unbearable is a dialogue between Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman, two of our leading theorists of sexuality, politics, and culture. In juxtaposing sex and the unbearable they don't propose that sex is unbearable, only that it unleashes unbearable contradictions that we nonetheless struggle to bear. In Berlant and Edelman's exchange, those terms invoke disturbances produced in encounters with others, ourselves, and the world, disturbances that tap into threats induced by fears of loss or rupture as well as by our hopes for repair.
Through virtuoso interpretations of works of cinema, photography, critical theory, and literature, including Lydia Davis's story "Break It Down" (reprinted in full here), Berlant and Edelman explore what it means to live with negativity, with those divisions that may be irreparable. Together, they consider how such negativity affects politics, theory, and intimately felt encounters. But where their critical approaches differ, neither hesitates to voice disagreement. Their very discussion—punctuated with moments of frustration, misconstruction, anxiety, aggression, recognition, exhilaration, and inspiration—enacts both the difficulty and the potential of encounter, the subject of this unusual exchange between two eminent critics and close friends.
What a rare mushroom can teach us about sustaining life on a fragile planet. Matsutake is the most valuable mushroom in the world--and a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere. Through its ability to nurture trees, matsutake helps forests to grow in daunting places. It is also an edible delicacy in Japan, where it sometimes commands astronomical prices. In all its contradictions, matsutake offers insights into areas far beyond just mushrooms and addresses a crucial question: what manages to live in the ruins we have made?
A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism. Here, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction.
By investigating one of the world's most sought-after fungi, The Mushroom at the End of the World presents an original examination into the relation between capitalist destruction and collaborative survival within multispecies landscapes, the prerequisite for continuing life on earth.
"Scientists and artists know that the way to handle an immense topic is often through close attention to a small aspect of it, revealing the whole through the part. In the shape of a finch's beak we can see all of evolution. So through close, indeed loving, attention to a certain fascinating mushroom, the matsutake, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing discusses how the whole immense crisis of ecology came about and why it continues. Critical of simplistic reductionism, she offers clear analysis, and in place of panicked reaction considers possibilities of rational, humane, resourceful behavior. In a situation where urgency and enormity can overwhelm the mind, she gives us a real way to think about it. I'm very grateful to have this book as a guide through the coming years."—Ursula K. Le Guin
Light in the Dark is the culmination of Gloria E. Anzaldua's mature thought and the most comprehensive presentation of her philosophy. Focusing on aesthetics, ontology, epistemology, and ethics, it contains several developments in her many important theoretical contributions.
Nightwood, Djuna Barnes' strange and sinuous tour de force, "belongs to that small class of books that somehow reflect a time or an epoch" (Times Literary Supplement). That time is the period between the two World Wars, and Barnes' novel unfolds in the decadent shadows of Europe's great cities, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna--a world in which the boundaries of class, religion, and sexuality are bold but surprisingly porous.
The outsized characters who inhabit this world are some of the most memorable in all of fiction--there is Guido Volkbein, the Wandering Jew and son of a self-proclaimed baron; Robin Vote, the American expatriate who marries him and then engages in a series of affairs, first with Nora Flood and then with Jenny Petherbridge, driving all of her lovers to distraction with her passion for wandering alone in the night; and there is Dr. Matthew-Mighty-Grain-of-Salt-Dante-O'Connor, a transvestite and ostensible gynecologist, whose digressive speeches brim with fury, keen insights, and surprising allusions. Barnes' depiction of these characters and their relationships (Nora says, "A man is another persona woman is yourself, caught as you turn in panic; on her mouth you kiss your own") has made the novel a landmark of feminist and lesbian literature.
Bosch'd spans space-time in a whimsical mix of poetry, quotation, fact, and insertion that all seems to point toward the dissolution of binary, the questioning of what's considered common knowledge, and how a poet works to enact change.
The first of many Bosch'd aphorisms states the opening condition this way: "Humor without gravitas passes through the mind with little effect; gravitas without humor is death." With that, Retallack takes on the paradoxical, hence generative, dystopian logics she calls "our projectile legacies"--misogyny, racism, undaunted colonialism, and more. It's where her playful and grave poetics of the poethical wager revs up. "As the sun at noon illustrates all shadows," Hieronymus Bosch illuminated a beautiful and grotesque biosphere (see Fig. x) that, along with tender sensuality and ubiquitous love, was riddled with human follies and trespasses we've come to identify as the Anthropocene. "Bosch'd" (verb. trans.) does not yet appear in our lexicons. For some of its implications, we present this erudite, searching, and great-humored book.
"This proliferation of angels, and angles, and spectra, and scenes, and singing is all but too beautifully blur to blurb. It defies its own collection. You have to ride, or hide, in an untied thought balloon to read it. It's so beautiful, with so much thought inside, and so loco, so such a little crazy in all its other languages, so off and errant but also so on the spot and dug in and garden'd, so unalone and shared and redshifted, so non-solo'd and so alter'd, that it becomes an altar, its music of alterity holding a delightful cultivation of flown that we can ground in, though it's also so nonlocal, so shar'd in the general speech, that even in the preparation of its table of contents, as if it were a piano on which bizarre things have been painted as the coming of froth, BOSCH'D blindsides despair. Who is Genre Tallique anyway? Bud Powell? An owl? Wow!"—Fred Moten
In Geontologies Elizabeth A. Povinelli continues her project of mapping the current conditions of late liberalism by offering a bold retheorization of power. Finding Foucauldian biopolitics unable to adequately reveal contemporary mechanisms of power and governance, Povinelli describes a mode of power she calls geontopower, which operates through the regulation of the distinction between Life and Nonlife and the figures of the Desert, the Animist, and the Virus. Geontologies examines this formation of power from the perspective of Indigenous Australian maneuvers against the settler state.
And it probes how our contemporary critical languages—anthropogenic climate change, plasticity, new materialism, antinormativity—often unwittingly transform their struggles against geontopower into a deeper entwinement within it. A woman who became a river, a snakelike entity who spawns the fog, plesiosaurus fossils and vast networks of rock weirs: in asking how these different forms of existence refuse incorporation into the vocabularies of Western theory Povinelli provides a revelatory new way to understand a form of power long self-evident in certain regimes of settler late liberalism but now becoming visible much further beyond.
The Female Complaint is part of Lauren Berlant’s groundbreaking “national sentimentality” project charting the emergence of the U.S. political sphere as an affective space of attachment and identification. In this book, Berlant chronicles the origins and conventions of the first mass-cultural “intimate public” in the United States, a “women’s culture” distinguished by a view that women inevitably have something in common and are in need of a conversation that feels intimate and revelatory. As Berlant explains, “women’s” books, films, and television shows enact a fantasy that a woman’s life is not just her own, but an experience understood by other women, no matter how dissimilar they are. The commodified genres of intimacy, such as “chick lit,” circulate among strangers, enabling insider self-help talk to flourish in an intimate public. Sentimentality and complaint are central to this commercial convention of critique; their relation to the political realm is ambivalent, as politics seems both to threaten sentimental values and to provide certain opportunities for their extension.
Pairing literary criticism and historical analysis, Berlant explores the territory of this intimate public sphere through close readings of U.S. women’s literary works and their stage and film adaptations. Her interpretation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and its literary descendants reaches from Harriet Beecher Stowe to Toni Morrison’s Beloved, touching on Shirley Temple, James Baldwin, and The Bridges of Madison County along the way. Berlant illuminates different permutations of the women’s intimate public through her readings of Edna Ferber’s Show Boat; Fannie Hurst’s Imitation of Life; Olive Higgins Prouty’s feminist melodrama Now, Voyager; Dorothy Parker’s poetry, prose, and Academy Award–winning screenplay for A Star Is Born; the Fay Weldon novel and Roseanne Barr film The Life and Loves of a She-Devil; and the queer, avant-garde film Showboat 1988–The Remake. The Female Complaint is a major contribution from a leading Americanist.
Word/World is a book of three registers. The collections Alphabet Poems, Apples and Origins, and then the Word/World poems themselves, comprise the contents of this book. These three constitute a progression, through language, from the unruly, abstracted language of trauma, into a more integrated and embodied approach to a language that inhabits an awakened body in the present tense.
The fabric of Word/World spans heirloom seeds, police murders, witch burning, Ayahuasca tourism, shamanism, the asteroid Chiron, soul mates, alchemical principles, plant medicine, tantric sex, gangster rap and the end of American Apparel. It is an attempt to heal divisions and static states, and looks towards a world that exists outside of duality.
Building on the work of Morris’ first book, Word/World firmly establishes poetry as its own language, a language which borrows from but is not like other language, and in which ideas can be held, examined, questioned from different angles, and exploded.
The long-awaited third collection from one of the UK’s finest, most virtuosic of modern lyric poets. These poems take the reader on surprising journeys of healing, hard-won amid personal and social vicissitudes – including triumph over addiction, and alcoholism – and open spaces in which to share in emotional, quasi-spiritual transcendence despite. Who could ask for more? Rabbit was chosen for the PBS Wild Card Choice for Winter, 2018.
“When poetry is the centre of your life the strength of some poets will get fixed in the orbit of your day, their poems settled into the memory of mind and body. Sophie Robinson is one of my absolute favourites, her lines returning to me, visceral, unsettling, exacting, and stunning! If you read one book of poems this year, let it be this! She’s a gateway drug, keeping you wanting all books of poetry to be as genius to make part of your waking life.”
– CA Conrad, author of While Standing in Line for Death.
Sophie Robinson teaches Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and is the author of A and The Institute of Our Love in Disrepair. Recent work has appeared in n+1, The White Review, Poetry Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Ploughshares, BOMB Magazine, and Granta.
A family prepares for Assessment; an au pair in the Caribbean wrestles with duty as a hurricane makes landfall; a game designer aches with bodily longing. Amidst it all, twins, heroines, mothers and rebels play out their lives under the strange grips of technology, governments, corporations and the capricious planet on which we all, in our different ways, just about manage to live.
This Paradise is a rare and beautiful collection of stories about people fleeing towards places or times or situations they hope might be better – trying to outrun their nature, to deny the undeniable. Written with an arresting eye for detail, a rich sense of compassion and a darkly comic understanding of the human psyche, the stories in this volume propose a series of haphazard questions, not least of which is: where do we run to when there’s nowhere left to run?
A virus inflames a woman with mortal desire; a colonial naturalist seeks an impossible specimen; invisible violence stalks a safari and a man out walking enters into a strange shadow dance with a prizefighter. Ranging from taut human drama to phantasmagoria, these stories make rich and strange connections – between ancient and new, human and animal, Africa and Europe, reality and dream. Taken together, in prose of great precision and beauty, the stories in Animalia Paradoxa map the complexities of the human specimen, in all its troubling glory. This is fiction of the highest quality, from one of South Africa’s foremost novelists.
Henrietta Rose-Innes is a South African novelist and short story writer. She is the author of four novels, including Nineveh and Green Lion, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Sunday Times Fiction Prize and won the 2015 Prix François Sommer. Homing, a short story collection, was published in South Africa in 2010. She was the 2008 winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing and runner–up in the BBC International Short Story Award in 2012.
A collection of anti-capitalist poetry, philosophy, cultural analysis, legal studies, manifesto and critique spanning 1996 to the present by Alenka Zupančič, Alexander Kluge, Amy Ireland, Anne Boyer, Aurelia Guo, Bini Adamczak, Carolyn Lazard, Chi Chi Shi, Denis Ekpo, Feminist Judgments Project, Gili Tal, Houria Bouteldja, Huw Lemmey, Keziah Craven, Marina Vishmidt, Nat Raha, Sarah Lamble, Teflon and Vanessa Place.
Divided we fall, but where do we land? This collection explores some of the grounds on which thinking and writing can begin again.
– Sadie Plant
The reprint of Pati Hill's 1979 book, composed of images and texts by Hill through which she intended to contextualize and explain her working methodology to Jill Kornblee, her New York gallerist.
Published on occasion of Pati Hill's first posthumous solo exhibition at Kunstverein München in 2020.
Pati Hill (1921, Ashland, Kentucky – 2014, Sens, France) left behind an artistic output spanning roughly 60 years and encompassing various disciplines. Untrained as an artist, she began to use the photocopier as an artistic tool in the early 1970s and continued to do so until her death, leaving behind an extensive oeuvre that explores the relationship between image and text. In addition to this comprehensive body of xerographic work, she published four novels, a memoir, several short stories, artists books, and poetry. Drawing also became an essential part of her practice.
By using the copier—a machine that was stereotypically linked to secretarial work and thus to feminized labor—to trace everyday objects such as a comb, a carefully folded pair of men's trousers, or a child's toy, Hill developed an artistic practice that programmatically translated invisible domestic labor into a visual and public language. Through her use of this reproductive apparatus, she created a model of artistic production that critically opposes the convention of individual expression as well as the supposed neutrality of technologically produced images.
From Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich to Basma Alsharif and Pauline Oliveros, Deux Soeurs brings together a chorus of voices that explore representations of parenthood, friendship, and disobedience.
The book acts as a reader to artist Beatrice Gibson's films, I Hope I'm Loud When I'm Dead (2018) and Two Sisters Who Are Not Sisters (2019), and includes material that informed Gibson's working process, together with the artist's texts and notes used in both films. Turning to the figure of the poet as a guide in times of chaos, Deux Soeurs presents a framework for an ethics of artistic and social collaboration.
rile* is a bookshop and project space for publication and performance. rile* is into poetry, theory, choreography, artist writing and various other text based experiments. rile* organizes performances, meetings, launches, readings... rile* is the base word for silence in Láadan, a feminist constructed language developed by Suzette Haden Elgin in 1982. The language was included in her science fiction Native Tongue series. Láadan contains a number of words that are used to make unambiguous statements that include how one feels about what one is saying. According to Elgin, this is designed to counter language's limitations to those who are forced to respond I know I said that, but I meant this.
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