Book Launch: Destiny Hemphill

Book Launch: Destiny Hemphill

Come celebrate the launch of Destiny Hemphill’s new chapbook Oracle: A Cosmology (Honeysuckle Press) on Sunday, November 25 from 4:30-6:30 PM at the Carrack! Destiny will be reading from her chapbook, and there will be copies available for purchase at the event. She will be joined by poets and artists Mariah M., Suquanna Rose, Lauren Hunter, and Adé Oh.

Oracle: A Cosmology explores lineage and family narrative by meditating on questions of loss, haunting, resistance, and personal & communal liberation. Entangling narratives of women who have been honed by hardship, this chapbook exists as an archive of intimate kin history. In weaving these true myths, Destiny makes the familial cosmic. Exploring memory and mourning, Oracle: a Cosmology gestures towards the possibility of loss as generative and transformative, and grief as a channel to the divinity that is within. In these poems, healing is not linear, but a disruptive and sacred process. Destiny confesses, yes, i still remember how it feels to be / under the swollen tongue of a god’s gaping mouth. This cosmology is one for the people, and the people, they are ethereal.

More About the Poets + Artists

Mariah M is a Black femme womxn all at once and all of the time. She is a Manifestor of Dreams and a lover of Black people. She is a 2017 Crescendo Literary Emerging Poet and Watering Hole Fellow. Marian M writes to live and lives unapologetically. She loves reading books and cuddling cats more than she loves people cause people can be on their bullshit. Her favorite tea is lavender green served warm and unsweetened, with a smirk and side-eye.

Lauren Hunter is a poet, editor & educator living in Durham, North Carolina. She received her MFA in poetry from The New School and her debut collection, HUMAN ACHIEVEMENTS was published by Birds, LLC in 2017. Her voice can be found inside the Poetry Jukebox in NYC’s East Village and in recent and forthcoming poems in Buckman, Jubilat, and Action, Spectacle.

adé jẹ afosurrealist ìwòsàn olorin / alajerun. adé ṣiṣẹ lati fọ àkókò oyinbo ati dagbasoke ìmí jin!

[adé. birdwatcher. afrosurrealist . earthworm—————–.dismantlin’. white time(s). take(s)//////////// deep(s) breath(s). be an ocean. is nxbody. ]

Suquanna Rose. a black genderqueer femmeboi, raised by two precious teens in the gritty streets of pensacola, florida and the trailor parks of jacksonville, nc. a kind soul with a sweet smile. a poet. a lover & a fighter. a pisces.

What Folks Have to Say About Oracle

“What is more dangerous than a black girl that understands the etymology of her own name? What is more dangerous than a black girl that taunts her haints and jumps ropes with heirloom’d nooses, writing her own freedom? Speaking with a dialect of “been here” taught unapologetically by the likes of Zora Neale Hurston and writing with the new hand of Ntozake Shange, Hemphill’s poems are prayers and blueprint. Are inquisition and reclamation. In the hands of our black ass hands, these poems are pulpy and lush and dangerous in its reckoning. Black girls with this kind of awakening have always been a force, eclipsing your basic ideas of who we be. ”

— Mahogany Browne, from her introduction

Oracle: A Cosmology is a staggering world of a book. Destiny Hemphill gorgeously messes colonial archives that dictate saving occurs through conquering. These poems exist in and on her terms. But here “her” does not mark the boundary of an ego; “her” is a binding to “mama-n-em,” southern black womxn who come before and alongside. Where those most American rituals of mysoginior (attempt to) disappear the bodies and interior lives of black womxn, Oracle holds forth lineages and possibilities of black femme loving, forging tongues and other maps that lead back and forward to the roving, infinite self. These poems shake the dirt from the roots until the nourishing truth gleams.”

— Claire Schwartz, author of Bound

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