We are thrilled to announce our Spring 2021 Host Publications Chapbook Prize Winner: Sequoia Maner's Little Girl Blue: Poems
Little Girl Blue: Poems is a collection of elegiac poems in a striking range of experimental forms. This collection conjures a tapestry of Black voices from history who have helped us see ourselves and the world more truthfully, and in these poems, we are not only called to witness injustice, but to hold space for what blooms from it: a confrontation full of rage and longing, an unshakable sense of joy that defies even death.
Sequoia Maner’s work is a powerful and unique blending of history, memory, and music—as Amanda Johnston says in her introduction to this collection, “As painful as it is to revisit the trauma of such grotesque human realities, Sequoia guides us through our bodies and reminds us we are here to do much more than die. We are here to discover our unique sensual selves through self-discovery and creation.”
Sequoia Maner is an Assistant Professor of African American Literature at Spelman College. She is a co-editor of the critical-creative book Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era (Routledge, 2020) and at work on a forthcoming book regarding Kendrick Lamar's album To Pimp a Butterfly for the 33 1/3 series (Bloomsbury). Her writing has been published in Auburn Avenue, The Feminist Wire, Meridians, Obsidian, The Langston Hughes Review, and other venues."
We highly encourage *everyone* to purchase a copy of Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era, which Sequoia co-edited alongside Tiffany Austin, Emily Ruth Rutter, and darlene anita scott. Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era is a collection of critical essays and poetry that investigates contemporary elegy within the black diaspora. This book provides a model for how to productively interweave theoretical and deeply personal accounts to encourage discussions about art and activism, and we think it should be required reading for all. <3
In addition to publication, we are honored to award Sequoia with $1,000, 25 copies of the published chapbook, national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion by our dedicated staff, and a virtual release party through Malvern Books.
Save The Date: Sequoia's chapbook launch will be on October 9th, 2021!
P.S. 🤫 Here's a sneak preview of one of our favorite poems from this collection!
"I guarantee I will spark the brain that changes the world. That's our job."
-Tupac Shakur, 1994
You are scattered like jazz across these states—
sorrowful note in Baltimore;
syncopated bruise in Harlem;
gravel-mouthed moan in Oakland;
a mustard seed in Compton.
You are always already a thefted body—
torso dislodged from neck & its bullet wounds;
fingers plucked for preservation;
skin flayed, stretched for book binding;
golden tongue gifted to rough waters.
You are the material evidence of survival
a lifetime of resurrections
a discharge of hauntings
the roam & wander of post-bop
a brilliant star streaking wild across the sky.
You are the ring shout of a radical tradition a prayer a self-fulfilling prophecy
a manifestation of the ecstatic
the stuff of elegies & uprisings
You are the sound a ghost makes when it returns to a body.