Friday, April 14th • 7 pm – 8:30 pm
While poking around 18 miles of books at The Strand last month, I spotted Anastacia-Reneé’s newly-released Side Notes from the Archivist in the poetry section and promptly proceeded to checkout. I’ve followed her visceral, genre-defying work since taking her documentary poetry class at Hugo House, and often thought back to the stark red line that bisected the “front door” of her (Don’t be Absurd) Alice in Parts exhibit at the Frye Art Museum.
The former Seattle Civic Poet (she/they) moved to the Big Apple last year but is returning to read from this funkadelic, experimental collection and chat with videopoet Kamari Bright at Elliott Bay Book Company on April 14th. In a recent interview with Soundside on KUOW, she spoke about how some included poems began years ago: “I let them live for a while.” (Fellow creatives, have a listen. That reframing has me digging up my old work.)
What I think of the book so far: for as long as these works have been percolating, each poem is urgent. There’s a restlessness to the way the words jump around on the page. The “archivist” does not pause to explain references to The Women of Brewster Place or Fantasy Island (look them up), which brings the “side notes” into focus: (like, “as the smoke rose from 6221 osage avenue, philadelphia residents watched through their windows or television screens in a state of disbelief. their city had just bombed its own people.”) Section II reads like a stack of production notes from a Netflix series narrated by the white male gaze. Don’t hesitate to close-read this one—twice.
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