Virtual Event: Anaïs Duplan
On the Poetics of an Afrofuture
in conversation with HANIF ABDURRAQIB
October 16, 2020
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $3 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.
Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store
While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $3 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Blackspace on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
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
Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.
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