• Blackspace

    by Anaïs Duplan
    Price $18.95
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Virtual Event: Anaïs Duplan


On the Poetics of an Afrofuture

in conversation with HANIF ABDURRAQIB


October 16, 2020
7:00 PM ET


Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.


Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes acclaimed poet, curator, and multimedia artist ANAÏS DUPLAN—author of the poetry collections Take This Stallion and Mount Carmel & the Blood of Parnassus—for a discussion of his latest book, Blackspace: On the Poetics of an Afrofuture. He will be joined in conversation by eminent poet, essayist, and cultural critic HANIF ABDURRAQIB, author of They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us.

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About Blackspace

Black artists of the avant-garde have always defined the future. Blackspace: On the Poetics of an Afrofuture is the culmination of six years of multidisciplinary research by trans poet and curator Anaïs Duplan about the aesthetic strategies used by experimental artists of color since the 1960s to pursue liberatory possibility. Through a series of lyric essays, interviews with contemporary artists and writers of color, and ekphrastic poetry, Duplan deconstructs how creative people frame their relationships to the word, "liberation." With a focus on creatives who use digital media and language-as-technology—luminaries like Actress, Juliana Huxtable, Lawrence Andrews, Tony Cokes, Sondra Perry, and Nathaniel Mackey—Duplan offers three lenses for thinking about liberation: the personal, the social, and the existential. Arguing that true freedom is impossible without considering all three, the book culminates with a personal essay meditating on the author's own journey of gender transition while writing the book.

Praise for Blackspace

“It would be a gift to read the brilliance of Blackspace in any season, but it feels especially thrilling now. This is futuristic work—work that doesn’t just serve as a reminder that there will be black people in the future, but work that mines for an understanding of what that future will look like. In form, in shape, in language, and in endless vision.” —Hanif Abdurraqib

“Duplan skillfully models radical listening in the relationship he cultivates between the text and its audience, prompting us to reimagine our interactions with artistic tradition and our lives in language.” —Ploughshares

“In Duplan’s exquisite (and exquisitely bizarre) vision, survival is effortful; it is massy; it is textural; it is en masse, dependent on group and swarm bodies; it is swarmed with contradiction; yet it is marvelous because it somehow persists.” —Fanzine

Anaïs Duplan
Anaïs Duplan

Anaïs Duplan

Anaïs Duplan is a trans* poet, curator, and artist. He is the author of the poetry collection, Take This Stallion (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016), and a chapbook, Mount Carmel and the Blood of Parnassus (Monster House Press, 2017). He has taught poetry at the University of Iowa, Columbia University, and will teach at Sarah Lawrence College and St. Joseph’s College. His video works have been exhibited in many places, including Flux Factory, Daata Editions, the 13th Baltic Triennial in Lithuania, and will be exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art in L.A in 202. He was a 2017-2019 joint Public Programs fellow at the Museum of Modern Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem. In 2016, he founded the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, an artist residency program for artists of color, based at Iowa City’s artist-run organization Public Space One. He works as Program Manager at Recess.

Photo Credit: Walid Mohanna

Hanif Abdurraqib
Hanif Abdurraqib

Hanif Abdurraqib

A New York Times best-selling author and visiting writer in the MFA program at Butler University, Hanif Abdurraqib is an acclaimed poet and cultural critic whose work has appeared in the New York Times, MTV News, and other outlets. A nominee for the Pushcart Prize, he is the author of the highly praised poetry collection The Crown Ain't Worth Much and the essay collection They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, which was included in the Chicago Tribune's 25 Must-Read Books list for fall 2017 and received recognition from reviewers coast-to-coast, including a starred review in Publishers Weekly. He is currently at work on They Don't Dance No Mo', a history of black performance in the United States.

Photo Credit: Marcus Jackson


Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

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