Refuse to Disappear

Refuse to Disappear
: New

In the spirit of magic, potions, and inventory, this book calls up the language of both science and witchery to call roll on Black women. Betts says their names in a litany of circumstances and survival. In the first section of the book, the poet draws a matrilineal line that connects these beings, and through this line, the bounce and weft of Betts’s verse meets readers in the actual: in hot sauce, FUBU, Sin-dee and Alexandra from Tangerine, Simone Biles, and on. Next, Betts brings in a movement of poems centered around music and the diamond needle of voice—how one sings oneself into being, and how the “song of my dead” is the only magnet for society’s attention, not the love, not the joy or fact of living. In the final poems, the voice carries solemn reality, mulling all that’s been lost and imprisoned with the alchemy of showing up.
—Cynthia Arrieu-King, author of Manifest and Futureless Languages

Publication Date: 
July 1, 2022

Related Events