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Spill : Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity - Alexis Pauline Gumbs


Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity

By: Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Paperback | 28 October 2016

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In Spill, self-described queer Black troublemaker and Black feminist love evangelist Alexis Pauline Gumbs presents a commanding collection of scenes depicting fugitive Black women and girls seeking freedom from gendered violence and racism. In this poetic work inspired by Hortense Spillers, Gumbs offers an alternative approach to Black feminist literary criticism, historiography, and the interactive practice of relating to the words of Black feminist thinkers. Gumbs not only speaks to the spiritual, bodily, and otherworldly experience of Black women but also allows readers to imagine new possibilities for poetry as a portal for understanding and deepening feminist theory.

Industry Reviews
"Gumbs's writing has luscious urgency and rhythmic drive, which will make it of interest beyond its titular audience." -- Barbara Hoffert * Library Journal *
"Spill is not just a poetic collection where art meets criticism or where art is criticism. Instead, it is an intricately woven, polyvocal, ever-expansive map that details and gives rise to new and old black feminisms instructing us how to live and move with(in) these proliferating epistemologies." -- Sasha Panaram * New Black Man (In Exile) *
"Inspired by the work of black feminist intellectual Hortense Spillers, Gumbs' collection of poems appear as a series of powerful scenarios. Reading the volume is akin to being a member of a theatre audience. The fourth wall is peeled away and one is suddenly witness to heartbreaking, inspiring and insightful scenes depicting fugitive black women and girls - unsung and celebrated 'sheroes' - seeking freedom from gendered violence and racism."
-- Thomasi McDonald * News & Observer *
"Spill is poetry that invites the reader to imagine these poems weren't written- they was lived, they were felt, and in some deep sense, re-membered. In other words, this book happened in somebody's body, a body committed to Black Feminist ways of knowing and feeling in the world.... By embracing and applying these through the form of the parable, Spill speaks to the radical, spiritual power that belongs to those 'black women who made and broke narrative.'" -- Lara Mimosa Montes * Poetry Project Review *
"Gumbs's poetry takes up the detritus of the everyday that surrounds theory - the affective social and political worlds in which black feminist theorists write - and bends it, splits it, like a prism breaking a beam of light into a rainbow." -- Maria Velazquez * Cascadia Subduction Zone *
"Gumbs seamlessly moves between historic reference, inherited memories, and a series of visions or a journal of dreams-the result is bigger than text itself. Her writing blurs the lines between past, present, and future. The book communes with ancestral knowledge while offering conjectures of what could be, reminding us that Black women have always seen what comes next, past the edges of what seemed or seems possible.... Spill is first and foremost a love offering to all Black women, but all readers who bear witness will leave its pages knowing of radical imagined possibilities and the difficult path laid before us toward elsewhere: 'our work here is not done.'" -- Zaina Alsous * Bitch *
"This book is a commanding collection of scenes depicting fugitive Black women and girls seeking freedom from gendered violence and racism. Like Audre Lorde, Gumbs writes for the complexity of her vision." -- Jaki Shelton Green * NBC News (NBCBlk) *
"Blending my love of Black queer feminist authors with genre bending and analytically complex poetry, Gumbs's work inflicted pleasantly unfamiliar feelings upon me that I cannot 'claim to have invented.' Spill transformed me from a reluctant bystander of theory and poetry into a willing and enthused participant.... Alexis Pauline Gumbs's Spill is an offering for all seeking an unpredictable and experimental journey of Black feminist artistic expression and self-discovery." -- Eden Sena Kokui Segbefia * Scalawag *
"Gumbs not only speaks to the spiritual, bodily and otherworldly experience of black women, she allows readers to imagine new possibilities for poetry as a portal for understanding and deepening feminist theory." * Triangle Tribune *
"This book is alive. The more I read it, the more gingerly I found myself handling its pages, despite the strength and determination of the women depicted within. . . . The scenes read as half song, half sermon (though intimately pitched), and taken as a whole create a richly textured chorus through which an exhilarating and deeply intelligent life force surges." -- Kim Adrian * The Rumpus *
"[G]round-breaking. . . . Gumbs's trilogy embraces the lyric beauty in the acts of naming, remembering, and finding one's way back to the source. . . . Reading Gumbs's books feels like reading an archive that will someday, who knows maybe even someday soon, usher in an era of radical transformation." -- Kathryn Nuernberger * West Branch *

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