Read the Powerful Chap, Shadow Black by Naima Tokunow — Black Lives Matter
Naima Tokunow‘s powerful meditation on Black life in America is necessary reading right now.
Shadow Black is free, it’s digital, it’s yours to share.
PRAISE for SHADOW BLACK
“The poems in Shadow Black move from startling moments of subtlety to satisfying passages of rant. Naima Tokunow is also a poet of the body, and in that tradition she calls for the liberation of the black body in particular: ‘It refuses. It declines. It makes its own.’ I’m so glad to have these poems in my life.”
— Jericho Brown, Guggenheim Fellow & author of The Tradition
“Shadow Black eludes and surprises, a palimpsest against which Naima Yael Tokunow projects the difficult ontology of a lyric identity destabilized by paradigmatic forces meant to corral queerness and femaleness and the facets of a bi-racial identity. Tokunow is a limber lyric poem with a diamond-hard edge that will “…find the way to make teeth/and to open [her] mouth for them…”
— Carmen Giménez Smith, Co-Director of Cantomundo & author of Be Recorder
“Shadow Black‘s poems are tightly wound, angled with energy against their specific and deliberate forms, often prosaic, often menacing and eager for the soft mouth of a reader. Riding on the tension between academic, prophetic, elegiac and manifesto voices, Tokunow employs language that seeks moments of penetration and surprise. To experience this collection is to experience the myriad responses, violent and hopeful, to the projection hugging so much skin in America: Shadow Black.”
— Josh Roark, Editor of Frontier Poetry
ABOUT the AUTHOR
Naima Yael Tokunow (née Woods) is an educator, writer and editor, currently living in New Mexico. Her work (and life) focus around interrogating black femme identity & privilege, social justice and black futurity. She is the author of three chapbooks, MAKE WITNESS, published in 2016 by Zoo Cake Press, Planetary Bodies, out from Black Warrior Review in 2019, and Shadow Black, forthcoming from Frontier. She is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a TENT Residency Fellow & has attended The Home School workshop in Miami. She proudly edits the Black Voice Series for Puerto del Sol and the Scarlet blog for Jaded Ibis. New work is published or forthcoming from bone bouquet, Bayou, Winter Tangerine, Nat. Brut, juked, Diagram and elsewhere.