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By Shane Book

At as soon as unique, unusual, humorous, and unnerving, Shane Book’s Congotronic takes the reader into risky territory, the place a number of layers of voice, diction, and track collide. a few of these poems have the sparse directness of one of those bleak prayer; others mingle the earthbound rhythms of hip-hop with the will-to-transcendence of excessive Romanticism.

Harnessing thoughts of the cinematic and audio arts, Book’s poems splice, pattern, college, and jump-cut language from an array of resources, together with slave narratives, Western philosophy, hip hop lyrics, and the diaries of plantation proprietors. In fusing disparate texts, each one poem during this assortment makes an attempt to create a neighborhood in language. therefore, at its middle, the undertaking is utopic—or extra accurately, to borrow from Duke Ellington—the venture is “blutopic.”

The book’s anchoring sequence comprises an apocryphal narrative grounded within the trip of the center Passage and an older mythic historical past from the West African epic of Sundiata. the following parts of Afrofuturism coagulate with an R&B grin as social forces problem a feeling of personhood, prompting free-jazz inflected conversations among the items of a shattered, polyvocal self.

Here is an international poet of the Sonic international South sheathed in a Northern Hemispheric glow go well with, excessive “on Coltrane, on Zeus” but in addition at the previous and new faculties of Descartes, M.I.A., Cecil Taylor, Gilbert Ryle, Freud, and Jay Z, between others—or as one poem places it, the “aural truths.” 

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Congotronic (Kuhl House Poets) by Shane Book

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