Vox Humana

By Adebe DeRango-Adem

Vox Humana
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Vox Humana (Latin for "human voice") is driven by a sense of political urgency to probe the ethics of agency in a world that actively resists the participation of some voices over others.

In and through literary experiments with word and sound, utterance and song, Vox Humana ... Read more


Overview

Vox Humana (Latin for "human voice") is driven by a sense of political urgency to probe the ethics of agency in a world that actively resists the participation of some voices over others.

In and through literary experiments with word and sound, utterance and song, Vox Humana considers the different ways a body can assert, recount, proclaim, thus underscoring the urgency of doing so against the de-voicing effects of racism and institutional violence.

As the title also represents an organ reed that sounds like the human voice, so DeRango-Adem shares her reclaiming of the instrument traditionally accessed by the white establishment.

These poems are born from the polyphonic phenomenon of the author's multilingual upbringing. They are autobiographical and alchemical, singular and plural, but, above all, a celebration of the (breath) work required for transformation of society and self.

Adebe DeRango-Adem

Adebe DeRango-Adem was called a young Canadian author to watch in 2016 by Canada's current parliamentary poet laureate, George Elliott Clarke. A former student of Anne Waldman and Amiri Baraka through the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, Adebe is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Ex Nihilo and Terra Incognita. Ex Nihilo was nominated for the prestigious Dylan Thomas Prize, while her most recent book, Terra Incognita, published in 2015, was a finalist for the Pat Lowther award. The book explores various racial discourses and interracial crossings both buried in the grand narratives of history and the everyday experiences of being mixed-race. Poems from the collection were also longlisted for the inaugural Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize, as judged by award-winning American poet Claudia Rankine. She is currently an English doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania.

Reviews

"Vox Humana compels the reader to engage with the fragment and with the sounded breath of words seeping through cracks in the text; in so doing it requires that the reader trust the movement of breath, word, and fragment and demands a new way of reading. Vox Humana does what poetry intends—it creates new ways of seeing all that has always been (not) there. " — M. NourbeSe Philip, author of Zong! and Bla_k

"Vox Humana by Adebe DeRango-Adem crackles with lexical and corporeal electricity. This is poetry that scans like lightning across a slate-blue sky, slashing the page with its power. Through its measurements of Blackness, miscegenation, migration, identity, the body, and the body politic, Vox Humana is the voice you have been waiting to hear. An incendiary cri de coeur for our times. " —Wayde Compton, author of The Outer Harbour

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