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Suddenly We

Suddenly We

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Evie Shockley's new poems invite us to dream—and work—toward a more capacious "we" In her new poetry collection, Evie Shockley mobilizes visual art, sound, and multilayered language to chart routes towards openings for the collective dreaming of a more capacious "we." How do we navigate between the urgency of our own becoming and the imperative insight that whoever we are, we are in relation to each other? Beginning with the visionary art of Black women like Alison Saar and Alma Thomas, Shockley's poems draw and forge a widening constellation of connections that help make visible the interdependence of everyone and everything on Earth

perched i am black, comely, a girl on the cusp of desire

my dangling toes take the rest the rest of my body refuses

spine upright, my pose proposes anticipation

i poise in copper-colored tension, intent on manifesting my soul in the discouraging world

under the rough eyes of others, i stiffen

if i must be hard, it will be as a tree, alive with change

inside me, a love of beauty rises like sap, sprouts from my scalp and stretches forth

i send out my song, an aria blue and feathered, and grow toward it, choirs bare, but soon to bud

i am black and becoming

—after Alison Saar's Blue Bird

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