Congotronic - Kuhl House Poets (Paperback)Shane Book (author)
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Harnessing techniques of the cinematic and audio arts, Book's poems splice, sample, collage, and jump-cut language from an array of sources, including slave narratives, Western philosophy, hip-hop lyrics, and the diaries of plantation owners. In fusing disparate texts, each poem in this collection attempts to create a community in language. Thus, at its core, the project is utopic-or more precisely, to borrow from Duke Ellington-the project is "blutopic".
The book's anchoring series contains an apocryphal narrative grounded in the journey of the Middle Passage and an older mythic history from the West African epic of Sundiata. Here elements of Afro futurism coagulate with an R&B grin as social forces challenge a sense of personhood, prompting free-jazz inflected conversations between the pieces of a shattered, polyvocal self.
Here is a world poet of the Sonic Global South sheathed in a Northern Hemispheric glow suit, high "on Coltrane, on Zeus" but also on the old and new schools of Descartes, M.I.A., Cecil Taylor, Gilbert Ryle, Freud, and Jay-Z, among others-or as one poem puts it, the "aural truths".
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Number of pages: 80
Weight: 113 g
Dimensions: 203 x 152 x 8 mm
"With an immediate and sustaining wit, and all fingers on the pulse of language, Shane Book seeks to blow the ghost out of the machine and the dust off of history. No mind-body split here; instead a learned, restive, blues-based exploration of poetic modes and poetic potentialities, of layered identities and polyvocal echoes."--Michael Palmer, author, Thread
"Shane Book crosses tremendous territory--from the social through the political and the philosophical to the sheerly imaginative; it's travel in every sense of the word, motivated by the urgency of pluralistic experience, of the imperative to witness. And to bring that witnessing to life, to speak out, which he does with a marvelous range of dictions, vernaculars, and linguistic stances--making voice an active, even acrobatic thing. He performs a stunning high-wire act that manages to remain extremely well-grounded at the same time."--Cole Swensen, author, The Book of a Hundred Hands