In with the New Shockley

Off the Page event:
November 4th, 7pm, York Amphitheatre, EV 1.605, 1515 Rue St. Catherine

Those who know Evie Shockley from her 2006 publication, a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006), will know how her lyrical style contains themes of ancestry and racial identity which flow through contexts of modern existential threats. Shockley’s words are just as markedly sharp in her latest release, the new black (Wesleyan Poetry Series, 2011), as she navigates through modern threats facing the lives of racial American-minority and feminist identities. Of the four suites of poems in the new black, it is striking to note how Shockley titles her suites – “out with the old,” “the cold,” and “out with the new” – to underline a treatment of black lives as casual commodities by a modern world, objectified and vilified by a modern American culture seeking to simultaneously appropriate and reprobate. Shockley’s strength in the written word parallels her strength in line presentation, whether it is the experiment of commixing and segregating connotative alliteration in “x marks the spot,” the barren feet tracking page to page in “the cold,” or the words that literally break off from their page and settle on the opposite side of the spine in “explosives.”

Take a listen as Shockley reads and discusses Ed Roberson’s “City Eclogue, Words for It,” and her own poem, “You Must Want This Lonesome.”

Off the Page 2016 welcomes Evie Shockley and Trish Salah to Concordia on November 4th.

– Johnathan F. Clark

 

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