#SummerLitTour Syllabus & Thank You

If you’re reading this you have supported me, it may be small, but it’s not insignificant. You’ve read my words which means you’ve acknowledged my existence, and with the world, we live in, you’ve rebelled against the natural choice.

This summer is me risking so much to move closer to my dreams, and I’m grateful you’ve become another reason to keep risking. I’ll be attending the inaugural Omnidawn Poetry Conference, Community of Writers fellowship, and Tin House fellowship this summer.

I’m attempting to write about memory, the body, the interior, love, loss, and all that makes my body my body.


August 7th, 1930 is not the first lynching in America and would not be the last, but it would be fatal to forget it. Marion, Indiana holds the title of being the inspiration behind the anti-lynching song ‘Strange Fruit,’ which rallied many against the brutal, but also the common practice of lynching. I am Black; I am an American; I am temporary, by temporary’s standards. I’m investigating the temporality of memory, Black interiority, and reasons we hide in language.

My working manuscript “Bitter Fruit: a suite of love poems” relies on the use of ekphrastic, contrapuntal, repetition, and redaction. I’m obsessed with how the Black interiority is expressed through the lens of contextualizing systemic racism, unearthing the commonplace mundane amongst acceptable brutality, and finding tenderness where tenderness was not made welcome. The poems function to unpack the connection of the past and present.

At the start of each day, I would focus on the famous Lawrence Beitler photograph of the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith and write poetry in response to the picture - and that’s how ‘Bitter Fruit’ began. I am interested in the intersections of love and violence. My life has been a balance of negotiating the act of self-harm and racial-harm. What will be the defining moment that I decided to take my own life and will I be murdered before my self-imposed leave? I’m obsessed with the ways love and tenderness have seen me through those negotiations. What did the boys think about in their last moments? If I were to leave a violent world violently, I would want to go on a sweet note. I am a depressive who's contemplated taking their own life in a world that also runs on my death. What responsibility do I have to my ancestors whose lives were cut short? Where does love belong in the body rejected?

In the contemporary Black interior, how have lynchings of the past made the space for depression to run its roots deep? How has tenderness both harmed and helped the Black person through their pain? What if something will carry us over to the side of some after - if that’s even possible? Poets like Vievee Francis, Jericho Brown, Ross Gay, Lucile Clifton, and Dianne Seuss have challenged my perception of memory, and it’s creation. Each poet lending one side of the conversation from the cruelty that inspired and the beauty that had to be created to balance the scale. I’m challenging the reader to question what they know and how they know, in hopes of realizing the cruelty never ends until it’s parts are made clear.



Blue-Tail Fly | Francis, Vievee

Library of Small Catastrophes | Rollins, Alison C.

The Inheritance of Haunting | rhodes, heidi andrea restrepo

Dear Angel of Death | White, Simone

Reasons for Smoking | Phillips, Xandria

& More Black | Ford, T’Ai Freedom

Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl | Seuss, Diane

The Collected Poems of Ai | Ai

semiautomatic | Shockley, Evie

Ghost Of | Nguyen, Diana Khoi

To the Place of Trumpets | Kelly, Brigit Pegeen

Deaf Republic | Kaminsky, Ilya

Sand Opera | Metres, Philip

The Crossed-Out Swastika | Cassells, Cyrus

The Great Fires | Gilbert, Jack

Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness | Kaufman, Bob

The Undressing | Lee, Li-Young

catalog of unabashed gratitude | Gay, Ross

OLIO | Jess, Tyehimba


the black notebooks | Derricotte, Toi

Line Break | Scully, James

Poet’s Work, Poet’s Play | Tobin, Daniel ; Triplett, Pimone

Bluets | Nelson, Maggie

Calamities | Gladman, Renee

The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness | Young, Kevin

Free All Along: The Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Interviews | Smith, Stephen Drury ; Ellis, Catherine

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning | Magnusson, Margareta

A Lynching in the Heartland: Race and Memory in America | Madison, James H.

Coin of the Realm: Essays on the Life and Art of Poetry | Phillips, Carl


MEM | Morrow, Bethany C.

Lit Forthcoming Poetry Collections 2020

(Disclaimer: A lot of poetry books get published - these are the books I knew about and that I am excited to read. If you feel I've overlooked a collection -- please contact me.)

The Sky That Denied Me: Selected Poems | Fakhreddine, Jawdat | University of Texas Press | January 1

Summer Snow | Hass, Robert | Ecco Press | January 7

Homie: Poems | Smith, Danez | Graywolf Press | January 21

The Galleons | Barot, Rick | Milkweed Editions | February 11

Stranger By Nights: Poems | Hirsch, Edward | Knopf Publishing Group | February 11

Absurd Man: Poems | Jackson, Major | W.W. Norton & Company | February 11

13th Balloon | Bibbins, Mark | Copper Canyon Press | February 11

Through a Small Ghost: Poems | Dingman, Chelsea | University of Georgia Press | February 15

44 Poems for You | Ruhl, Sarah | Copper Canyon Press | February 18

Living Weapon: Poems | Phillips, Rowan Ricardo | Farrar, Straus, and Giroux | February 18

The Gilded Auction Block: Poems | McCrae, Shane | Farrar, Straus, and Giroux | February 18

Norma Jeane Baker of Troy | Carson, Anne | New Directions | February 25

The Idea of Perfection: The Poetry and Prose of Paul Valéry | Valery, Paul (Author); Rudavsky-Brody, Nathaniel | Farrar, Straus, and Giroux | February 25

A Nail The Evening Hangs On | Sok, Monica | Copper Canyon Press | February 25

The Woman in the Corner: Poems | Krygowski, Nancy | University of Pittsburgh Press | February 25

Imperial Liquour: Poems | Johnson, Amaud | University of Pittsburgh Press | February 25

The Undressing: Poems | Lee, Li-Young | W.W. Norton & Company | March 3

Postcolonial Love Poem: Poems | Diaz, Natalie | Graywolf Press | March 3

Pale Colors in a Tall Field: Poems | Phillips, Carl | Farrar, Straus, and Giroux | March 3

The Carrying: Poems | Limon, Ada | Milkweed Editions | March 10

Foreign Bodies: Poems | Hahn, Kimiko | W.W. Norton & Company | March 20

The More Extravagant Feast: Poems | Green, Leah Naomi | Graywolf Press | April 7

Lit Forthcoming Poetry Collections 2019

(Disclaimer: A lot of poetry books get published - these are the books I knew about and that I am excited to read. If you feel I've overlooked a collection -- please contact me.)

Invasive Species | Helal, Marwa | Nightboat Books | January 1

Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy | Cerpa, Andrés | Alice James Books | January 8

The Specimen’s Apology | Abraham, George | Sibling Rivalry Press | January 11

Oculus: Poems | Mao, Sally Wen | Graywolf Press | January 15

Only as the Day Is Long: New and Selected Poems | Laux, Dorianne | W.W. Norton & Company | January 15

Wild Is the Wind: Poems | Phillips, Carl | Farrar, Strauss and Giroux | January 22

The Twenty-Ninth Year | Alyan, Hala | Mariner Books | January 29

Magical Negro | Parker, Morgan | Tin House | February 5

The Gilded Auction Block: Poems | McCrae, Shane | Farrar, Straus and Giroux | February 12

Dark // Thing: Poems | Jones, Ashley M. | LSU Press | February 12

The Book of Ruin | Gonzalez, Rigoberto | Four Way Books | March 4

Mitochondrial Night | Lee, Ed Bok | Coffee House Press | March 5

Ridiculous Light: Poems | Robin, Valencia | Persea Books | March 12

The Summer of Dead Birds | Liebegott, Ali | Amethyst Editions | March 12

The Octopus Museum: Poems | Shaughnessy, Brenda | Knopf Publishing Group | March 19

How to Love a Country: Poems | Blanco, Richard | Beacon Press | March 26

"i": New & Selected Poems | Derricotte, Toi | University of Pittsburgh Press | March 26

Wade in the Water | Smith, Tracy K. | Graywolf Press | March 26

The Year of Blue Water | Yanyi | Yale University Press | March 26

Gold That Frames the Mirror | Melendez, Brandon | Write Bloody Publishing | April 1

Extratransmission | Abi-Karam, Andrea | Kelsey Street Press | April 1

Brute: Poems | Skaja, Emily | Graywolf Press | April 2

The Crazy Bunch | Perdomo, Willie | Penguin Books | April 2

The Tiniest Muzzle Sings Songs of Freedom | Zurawski, Magdalena | Wave Books | April 2

Soft Science | Choi, Franny | Alice James Books | April 2

The Tradition | Brown, Jericho | Copper Canyon Press | April 2

Careen | Liew, Grace Shuyi | Noemi Press | April 2

Some Girls Survive on Their Sorcery Alone: Poems | Nurse, Thiahera | Northwestern University Press | April 15

Creance; Or, Comest Thou Cosmic Nazarite: Poems | Colarusso, Andrew E. | Northwestern University Press | April 15

Build Yourself A Boat | Felix, Camonghne | Haymarket Books | April 16

The Black Condition Ft. Narcissus | dodd, jayy | Nightboat Books | April 16

All It’s Charms | Kuipers, Keetje | BOA Editions | April 23

Halal If You Hear Me: The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 3 | Asghar, Fatimah (Editor); Elhillo, Safia (Editor) Haymarket Books | April 23

Library of Small Catastrophes | Rollins, Alison C. | Copper Canyon Press | April 23

Soft Targets | Landau, Deborah | Copper Canyon Press | April 30

Night Angler | Davis, Geffrey | BOA Editions | April 30

& More Black | Ford, T’Ai Freedom | Augury Books | May 1

Exiles of Eden | Osman, Ladan Ali | Coffee House Press | May 7

Patricide | Harris, Dave | Button Poetry | May 14

Hybridia:Poems | Chang, Tina | W.W. Norton & Company | May 14

Ugly Music | Antigua, Diannely | YesYes Books | May 15

1919 | Ewing, Eve | Haymarket Books | June 4

Deciduous Qween | Glasgow, Matty Layne | Red Hen Press | June 4

New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Sita) | Abani, Chris (Editor); Dawes, Kwame (Editor) | Akashic Books | June 11

The Collected Poems Édouard Glissant | Glissant, Édouard; Humphries, Jeff (Editor); Manolas, Melissa (Translation) | University of Minnesota Press | June 11

neckbone | young, avery r. | Triquartely Books | June 15

The Last Poem I Will Ever Write: Poems | Orr, Gregory | W.W. Norton & Company | June 18

Maafa | Holiday, Harmony | Fence Books | July 16

Hard Damage | Aber, Aria | University of Nebraska Press | September 1

Modern Sudanese Poetry | Babikir, Adil (Editor) | University of Nebraska Press | September 1

A Fortune for Your Disaster | Abdurraqib, Hanif | Tin House  | September 3

Ndn Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field | Belcourt, Billy-Ray | House of Anansi Press | September 3

This Wound is a World | Belcourt, Billy-Ray| University of Minnesota Press | September 3

Bluets | Nelson, Maggie | Wave Books | September 3

Eyes Bottle Dark with A Mouthful of Flowers | Skeets, Jake | Milkweed Editions | September 10

Grief Sequence | Sharma, Prageeta | Wave Books | September 17

Soundmachine | Zucker, Rachel | Wave Books | September 17

Odes to Lithium | Erlichman, Shira | Alice James Books | September 17

Slingshot | Johnson, Cyree Jarelle | Nightboat Books | September 17

A Map of Absence | Alshaer, Atef (Editor) | Saqi Books | September 24

Ringer: Poems | Lehmann, Rebecca | University of Pittsburgh Press | September 24

Sun of Consciousness | Glissant, Édouard | Nightboat Books | October 1

It’s Not Magic | Sands, Jon | Beacon Press | October 1

Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman | Kaufman, Bob; Cherkovski, Neeli (Editor) | City Light Books Press | October 1

Cross/Fire: Collected Poems | Chin, Staceyann | Haymarket Books | October 1

Space Struck | Lewis, Paige | Sarabande Books | October 8

Hustling Verse | Dawn, Amber (Editor); DuCharme, Justin (Editor) | Arsenal Pulp Press | October 8

The Anti-Grief | Boruch, Marianne | Copper Canyon Press | October 8

Hull | Phillips, Xandria | Nightboat Books | October 8

Felon | Betts, Reginald Dwayne | W.W. Norton & Company | October 15

Arias | Olds, Sharon | Knopf | October 15

HoodWitch | Hicks, Faylita | Acre Books | October 15

Sounds | Kandinsky, Wassily | Yale University Press | October 15

Gathering the Tribes | Forche, Carolyn | Yale University Press | October 22

Crush | Siken, Richard | Yale University Press | October 22

The Mind Has Cliffs of Fall: Poems | Pinsky, Robert | W.W. Norton & Company | October 22

Views of Jeopardy | Gilbert, Jack | Yale University Press | October 22

Field Guide | Hass, Robert | Yale University Press | October 22

Firsts | Phillips, Carl (Editor) | Yale University Press | October 22

For My People | Walker, Margaret | Yale University Press | October 22

A Mask for Jauns | Merwin, W.S. | Yale University Press | October 22

Some Trees | Ashberry, John | Yale University Press | October 22

Heed the Hollow: Poems | Tariq, Malcolm | Graywolf Press | November 5

Feed | Pico, Tommy | Tin House | November 5

I Shimmer Sometimes, Too | O, Porsha | Button Poetry | November 12

Dispatch: Poems | Awkward-Rich, Cameron | Persea Books | December 10

What collections are you excited about? Please let me know

Queer Picture Books 2018 Pride Edition

(Disclaimer: These are picture books that I'm excited about, but if there's a collection you feel I've overlooked -- please contact me.)

| Bundo, Marlon (Author), Twiss, Jill (With), Keller (Gerald Kelley), Eg (Illustrator) | Chronicle Books

Prince & Knight | Haack, Daniel (Author), Lewis, Stevie (Illustrator) | Little Bee Books

Jerome by Heart | Scotto, Thomas (Text by (Art/Photo Books)), Tallec, Olivier (Artist), Bedrick, Claudia (Translator), Snelson, Karin (Translator) | Enchanted Lion Books

ABC a Family Alphabet Book | Combs, Bobbie (Author), Rappa, Desiree & Brian (Illustrator) | Two Lives Publishing

Harriet Gets Carried Away | Sima, Jessie (Author/Illustrator) | Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Not Quite Narwhal | Sima, Jessie (Author/Illustrator) | Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

We Are One: The Story of Bayard Rustin | Brimner, Larry Dane (Author) | Calkins Creek Books

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag | Sanders, Rob (Author), Salerno, Steven (Illustrator) | Random House Books for Young Readers

Julián is a Mermaid | Love, Jessica (Author/Illustrator) | Candlewick Press

When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon and del Martin Built a Community | Pitman, Gayle E (Author), Lyles, Christopher (Illustrator) | Magination Press

This Day in June | Pitman, Gayle E (Author), Litten, Kristyna (Illustrator) | Magination Press

The Different Dragon | Bryan, Jennifer (Author), Hosler, Danamarle (Illustrator) | Two Lives Publishing

Sewing the Rainbow: A Story about Gilbert Baker | Pitman, Gayle E (Author), Clifton-Brown, Holly (Illustrator) | Magination Press

Stella Brings the Family | Schiffer, Miriam B (Author), Clifton-Brown, Holly (Illustrator) | Chronicle Books

My Princess Boy | Kilodavis, Cheryl (Author), DeSimone, Suzanne (Illustrator) | Aladdin Paperbacks

Who Are You?: The Kid's Guide to Gender Identity | Pessin-Whedbee, Brook (Author), Bardoff, Naomi (Illustrator) | Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Jack (Not Jackie) | Silverman, Erica (Author), Hatam, Holly (Illustrator) | Little Bee Books

And Tango Makes Three | Richardson, Justin (Author), Parnell, Peter (Author), Cole, Henry (Illustrator) | Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Worm Loves Worm | Austrian, J J (Author), Curato, Mike (Illustrator) | Balzer & Bray/Harperteen

Call Me Tree: Llamame Arbol | Christina Gonzalez, Maya (Author/Illustrator) | Children's Book Press

The Gender Wheel: A Story About Bodies and Gender for EverybodyChristina Gonzalez, Maya (Author/Illustrator) | Reflection Press

The Boy Who Cried Fabulous | Newman, Leslea (Author), Ferguson, Peter (Illustrator) | Tricycle Press

Donovan's Big Day | Newman, Leslea (Author), Dutton, Mike (Illustrator) | Tricycle Press

I Am Jazz | Herthel, Jessica (Author), Jennings, Jazz (Author), McNicholas, Shelagh (Illustrator) | Dial Books

The Boy & The Bindi | Shraya, Vivek (Author), Perera, Rajni (Illustrator) | Arsenal Pulp Press

They She He Me: Free to Be! | Christina Gonzalez, Maya (Author), Sg, Matthew (Author) | Reflection Press

Pink Is for Boys | Pearlman, Robb (Author), Kaban, Eda (Illustrator) | Running Press Kids

Heather Has Two Mommies | Newman, Leslea (Author), Cornell, Laura (Illustrator) | Candlewick Press

Morris Micklewhite and The Tangerine Dress | Baldacchino, Christine (Author), Malenfant, Isabelle (Illustrator) | Groundwood Books

Red: A Crayon's Story | Hall, Michael (Author/Illustrator) | Greenwillow Books

Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship | Walton, Jess (Author), MacPherson, Dougal (Illustrator) | Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books


Lit Forthcoming Poetry Collections 2018

(Disclaimer: These are the poetry collections that I'm excited about, but if there's a collection you feel I've overlooked -- please contact me.)

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This website as been a long time coming. More than a few people will be sending messages that share the sentiment of "What took you so long?" My answer is, "A lot". I will not be putting my camera down for a very long time if that counts for anything.