A new collection of poems by Lambda Award winner, Rosamond S. King, conceptualizing state violence, racism, and the persistence of Black desire, resistance, and joy.
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All the Rage addresses everyday pleasure as well as the present condition of racism in the United States—a time marked both by recurring police violence and intense artistic creativity—from a variety of perspectives: being Black, an immigrant, a woman, and queer. At its core dwells “Living in the Abattoir,” a series in which people of color live out their days as both workers and meat. All the Rage simultaneously invokes both anger at ongoing systemic violence and the frivolity of something that is, perhaps temporarily, “trending.”
Read an interview with Rosamond S. King on the Nightboat blog here!
All the Rage is a metropolitan poetics where protest and testimony do not spare confusion but makes within these passages—veering between performance and document—a new kind of torque. What are the facts? What are the ironies? Who is contradicting who? What just happened? What gets kept? This book is not only a cry of pain but also for joy, of what is possible and what may be impossible.
All the Rage is a barbwire slaughterhouse of American dysfunction surrounded by a moat of molten fury. Rosamond S. King wrote these poems with a claw hammer in one hand, a blowtorch in the other, and enough decibels to sear any virus, including presidential pestilences, into cinders. This book is highly recommended as a talisman against all forms of oppression and a bugle call for reckoning history. Dive in, dear reader, but remember, the safety’s off!
All the Rage offers us an “etymology of scream,” a music and a poetics of testimony, an imagination and a voice of survivor who asks, and responds, as survivors do: “You still here? We still here.” Indeed, Rosamond S. King offers us many poetic modes, from documentary to imaginary narrative, but the truest languages of this book are music and tone that speak to us without patronizing, that tell it like it is: “America the beautiful / I am not safe.” Even the familiar propaganda here is turned into music and memorable phrasing: “We will protect you by turning the army into border patrol / we will protect you by turning the national guard into the police / we will protect you by turning the police into the paramilitary / we will protect you by attacking you in your homes // we will give you a receipt for your children.” Innovative and incantatory, All the Rage is first of all heart-breaking, honest. A spellbinding, inimitable book.
Rosamond S. King proves again and again that she is a poet rooted in place with connections across seas and communities. The collection, inclusive of Trinidadian Creole English, hashtags, and outside textual references, ends with a section that takes the reader into moments of bodily and psychic joy. This book, as the title suggests is all the rage.
It’s been a constant question, what kind of art will come from this moment, what kind of art this moment needs. Poet, performance artist, and literary theorist Rosamond S. King’s newest collection is a bold and urgent movement towards meeting this unmeetable moment. At once formally innovative and passionate, this collection struggles and dances in a single motion.
Lambda Award winner Rosamond S. King’s All the Rage (Nightboat, Apr.) presents an intersection of Black, immigrant, female, and queer issues, with the gut-punch ‘Living in the Abattoir’ series at its heart presenting people of color living in an abattoir where they are both workers and product.
Rosamond S, King’s second poetry collection, All the Rage, addresses the everyday joy, pleasure and ever-present force of racism in America. In a time where the focus on and threat of police violence on Black men and women is so great, creativity and artistry continue to rise. This collection addresses the reality of living in America from a multitude of perspectives, exploring how people of color might live in an alternate yet familiar reality.
Simple and direct language butts up against poems structured like riddles. King shows that she can tell the truth through wordplay, irony, and allegory, but most often she chooses to tell it straight, not slant.
In this book bones break. Because brutality. Because blood. Because bile and bullets and badges. Because being. And bygones are not bygones. But bitter, Bland, brackish, beguiling, bare. And Becky, by God. In this book bones break. But they also breathe. Rosamond S. King makes sure of this.
“On this episode of Black & Published, Nikesha is speaking with creative, critical writer, poet, and performer Rosamond S. King about her new poetry collection, All The Rage. The collection was inspired by the lack of indictments handed down in the death of Eric Garner who was killed by police officers in New York in 2014. From that singular incident she crafted a collection set in the fictional world of the abattoir to discuss Black joy and Black pain living in tandem. She sees the collection as an extension of her work as a literary scholar and all around writer be it academic, poetic, or for the love of writing.”
Rosamond S. King previously won a Lambda Award, placing her work in a queer, political context. With All the Rage, King once again embraces poetry as protest, addressing sexuality, Blackness in America, and systemic violence. By looking back at the past and confronting the deep issues and anxieties of the present, King’s collection propels readers toward a better future.
More performative than strictly literary, these hard-hitting poems speak truth to power.
All the Rage (Nightboat), the second collection of poems by Trinidadian-American Rosamond S King, tacking “state violence, racism, and the persistence of Black desire, resistance, and joy.”
Check out our interview with Rosamond S. King about All the Rage, up now on our blog!
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Read “Abattoir Gentrification” by Rosamond S. King from ALL THE RAGE in Poetry Daily!
Read a few poems from All the Rage in a Verse Playlist!
The seeds of All the Rage, my second collection of poems, lie not in the death of Eric Garner but in the day the police officers who murdered him were not indicted for their crime (in legalese, when the grand jury declined to indict). I decided I had to do something: I wrote a poem. Bubbling rage and choking despair. I marched, I taught, I shared, and I wrote poems.
Rosamond S. King is a creative and critical writer, performer, and artist whose work is deeply informed by the many cultures and communities she is part of, by history, and …