Thursday, September 14th, 2017, City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
celebrating the release of
Number 61 in the Pocket Poets Series
Heaven Is All Goodbyes published by City Lights Books.
The much-awaited second book by a truly revolutionary poet, in the lineage of Gil Scott-Heron, Allen Ginsberg, and Audre Lorde.
This is truly revolutionary poetry. From the corner store to the dilapidated school, from the alleys between downtown office buildings to the prison, voices that have been through too much to care and yet still struggle on, relate the post-industrial U.S. Black experience. A vortex of images, observations, inspired leaps and free associations spill forth from a choir living in oppression and transience, invisible to and dismissive of the mainstream bourgeoisie. Moments of political and spiritual convergence, gangsterism and revolution, surrealism and blunt materiality are captured in the music of metaphor and pure intention. A modern-day Mystic, a true Seer, the depth of the poet's own humanity is rooted in every line, creating a liberated space for pain and beauty through a healing love for his people.
"The tesseraic language of Tongo Eisen Martin's Heaven Is All Goodbyes brings a new, shared articulation to the intricacies and interconnections of grief and life, speech and site, state and inhabitant, violence and landscape. Here, polyvocal assemblages gather and revolt against our 'porcelain epoch / succeeding for the most part / dying for the most part / married for the most part to its death.' This is resistance as sound."––Claudia Rankine
Tongo Eisen-Martin is the author of the critically acclaimed poetry book, someone's dead already, and his poetry has been featured in Harper's Magazine. He is also a movement worker and educator whose work in Rikers Island was featured in the New York Times. He has been a faculty member at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University, and his curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, "We Charge Genocide Again!" has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country.
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