Black Bell

Black Bell cover

Black Bell

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Sweeping from the eighteenth century to futurist fabulations, Black Bell harmonizes poetry with performance art practices in an investigation of fugitivity.

Inspired by the nineteenth century image of an enslaved woman wearing iron horns and bells, Alison C. Rollins's Black Bell continues an exploration of cataloging individual experience and collective memory. As Rollins sets out to resuscitate and embody the archive, we see a chorus of historical figures like Eliza Harris, Henry "Box" Brown, and Lear Green; readers can listen in as Phillis Wheatley takes a Turing test or venture through Dante's Inferno remixed with Wu-Tang Clan's 36 Chambers. Poems travel across time and space, between the eighteenth century and futuristic fabulations, vibrating with fugitive frequencies, sounds of survival, and nerve-wracking notes tuned toward love and liberation. Black Bell navigates what it means to be both invisible and spectacle, hidden and on display, allowing lyric language to become the material for fashioning wearable sculptures akin to Nick Cave's "soundsuits." Integrating performance art practices, metalwork, and sonic, Black Bell becomes multimedia meditation on freedom seeking, furthering the possibilities of both the page and the canvas of the poet's body.

Alison C. Rollins (she/her) is the author of Black Bell and Library of Small Catastrophes, a 2020 Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award nominee. Born and raised in St. Louis city, she holds degrees from Brown University, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Howard University. A recipient of fellowships with Cave Canem, Callaloo, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Poetry Foundation, Rollins was awarded support from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and Brown University's Artist Grant. Her work has been published in American Poetry Review, Iowa Review, The New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. She has held faculty and librarian appointments at institutions including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Colorado College, and Pacific Northwest College of Art.

ISBN: 9781556597008

ISBN-10: 9781556597008

Publisher: Copper Canyon Press

Publication Date: 04/23/2024 - 12:00am

On Sale: 04/23/2024 - 12:00am

Pages: 136

Language: English


American - African American & Black

Women Authors