Please note: Out of respect for the East Bay community’s vocal opposition to his appearance, Francisco Cantú feels it will be best to cancel his signing appearance at East Bay Booksellers tonight. We regret any inconvenience this might cause. As he indicated in his public statement yesterday, Francisco acknowledges the importance of ceding space to the voices of those who are protesting his appearance, many of whom are our community’s most disenfranchised and endangered voices, and ultimately concluded the best thing he could do right now was to respect their wishes.
For our part, we have begun crafting a future panel discussion that will be more identifiably reflective of the lives and perspectives — by way of their art, literature, and advocacy, etc. — of those for too long denied their proper, safe platform. We look forward to telling you more about it. It’s going to be fantastic.
Olio is unlike anything else I've ever read. How often does a person get to say that? Tyehimba Jess' second book is a mash-up of sonnet, song, and story, and neither the fiction nor fact of American history looks the same again. A celebration of the works, lives, and defiance of African American artists and musicians who suffered (then and today) minstrelizing stereotypes. Olio is an education and encyclopedia.
Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in PoetryWinner of the 2017 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in PoetryWinner of the 2017 Book Award from the Society of Midland Authors for Poetry2016 National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for poetry2017 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award finalist2017 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award finalistNamed a top poetry book of spring 2016 by Library Journal Part fact, part fiction, Tyehimba Jess's much anticipated second book weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them. So, while I lead this choir, I still find that I'm being led...I'm a missionary mending my faith in the midst of this flock... I toil in their fields of praise. When folks see these freedmen stand and sing, they hear their God speak in tongues. These nine dark mouths sing shelter; they echo a hymn's haven from slavery's weather. Detroit native Tyehimba Jess' first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, has received fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team. He exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TEDxNashville Conference. Jess is an Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island.
About the Author
Detroit native Tyehimba Jess' first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the "Best Poetry Books of 2005." Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004-2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000 - 2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TEDxNashville Conference. Jess is an Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island.