I Need Music
by Anaïs Duplan
ISBN-13: 9780900575112 | $20 | 256 pages | October 1, 2021
When I first come into contact with an image, I say,
what is an image? I begin to believe paradoxically one failed picture
is the total picture. I can tell there’s an art to staying
either inside or outside the lines.
In his fourth book, Anaïs Duplan reinvents ekphrasis as an act of devotion to art as both the sense-archive and future tense of Black embodiment. In this vibrant thinkspace (where thinking is singing), Duplan hosts a vivid community of Black musicians, performers, painters, photographers, poets, critics, filmmakers and video artists, even a chorus of lovelorn chatroom denizens. I Need Music hosts the lyric re-arrivals of unquiet pasts, enacts a haptic intimacy with the present, and vibrates with the immanence of Black, queer futures.
PRAISE FOR ANAÏS DUPLAN
(Anaïs Duplan) balances the intellect, image, music, and emotion in ways so unfamiliar that a blurb couldn’t possibly characterize the work.
— Jericho Brown
For all the ways we pad our language with qualifier, with apology, with hedge, Anaïs Duplan is antidote. His poems are talkative, inappropriate, obsessive, and sexy.
— francine j. harris
Here are poems that revel in post-hybridity and borderless threnodies, and go straight to the stillness of the heart, to performances of language that are fierce and juicier than a papaya, and frankly, that one would only expect from a brilliant young mind as theirs.
— Major Jackson
Take This Stallion is the sound of a generation finding its voice; it is a sound of a generation that has more rapidly than any since the generation that came of age in the 1960’s turned the world on its head, both exposing the faithlessness of the generations before it, and reifying the promises those generations made.
— Shane McCrae
It would be a gift to read the brilliance of Blackspace in any season, but it feels especially thrilling now. This is futuristic work—work that doesn’t just serve as a reminder that there will be black people in the future, but work that mines for an understanding of what that future will look like. In form, in shape, in language, and in endless vision.
— Hanif Abdurraqib
Duplan stirs the banal into a melting pot of the bizarre and morbid, creating an enticing concoction for those with eclectic palates.
— Publishers Weekly
Duplan skillfully models radical listening in the relationship he cultivates between the text and its audience, prompting us to reimagine our interactions with artistic tradition and our lives in language.
Anaïs Duplan’s poems are witty and bold, inhabiting a speculative underbelly of pop culture.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anaïs Duplan is a trans* poet, curator, and artist. He is the author of a book of essays, Blackspace: On the Poetics of an Afrofuture (Black Ocean, 2020), a full-length poetry collection, Take This Stallion (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016), and a chapbook, Mount Carmel and the Blood of Parnassus (Monster House Press, 2017). He has taught poetry at the University of Iowa, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, and St. Joseph’s College. His video works have been exhibited by Flux Factory, Daata Editions, the 13th Baltic Triennial in Lithuania, Mathew Gallery, NeueHouse, the Paseo Project, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in L.A. As an independent curator, he has facilitated curatorial projects in Chicago, Boston, Santa Fe, and Reykjavík. He was a 2017-2019 joint Public Programs fellow at the Museum of Modern Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem. In 2016, he founded the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, an artist residency program for artists of color, based at Iowa City’s artist-run organization Public Space One.