That Loud-Assed Colored Silence: Protest
Excerpt from Optic Subwoof, copyright © 2022 by Douglas Kearney.
Used with the permission of the author and Wave Books.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Douglas Kearney has published seven books ranging from poetry to essays to libretti. His most recent collection, Sho (Wave Books), is a Minnesota Book Award winner, a National Book Award, Griffin Poetry Prize, and Pen America-finalist. He is the 2021 recipient of OPERA America’s Campbell Opera Librettist Prize, created and generously funded by librettist/lyricist Mark Campbell. A Whiting Writer’s and Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly awardee with residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others, he teaches Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities.
Optic Subwoof is a collection of talks that poet and National Book Award finalist Douglas Kearney presented for the Bagley Wright Lecture Series in 2020 and 2021. As kinetic on the page as they are in person, these lectures offer an urgent critique of the intersections between violence and entertainment, interrogating the ways in which poetry, humor, visual art, music, pop culture, and performance alternately uphold and subvert this violence. With genius precision and an avant-garde sensibility, Kearney examines the nuances around Black visibility and its aestheticization. In myriad ways, Optic Subwoof is a book that establishes Kearney as one of the most dynamic writers and thinkers of the twenty-first century.