Vox Apsens / Anastasis

Adebe DeRango-Adem

LISTEN   UP   I  HEARD   THE    DEAD        CAN TALK        &     looks        likethey have a lot to say  /  ehhhhhhhh  /   a sound between a(h)   and   e(h) /nesyamun²   the   true  of   voice  /  ancient    priest   &   chanter   of   egyptthanks be  to 3-D for  a way to print / these  BC phonics these pharaonicvocal   tracts   into  tracks  so fresh  /  can't  touch  this  sphinx  that  sitsat  my  larynx  /  biggest  cool  cat  of  all     coming at you   from the OGmantra    /      by   which   you        speak     the     name         of   the    dead& they live        again  /  but does pronunciation  count  / which syllables        get counted  / can  you            mispronounce  a death  /  am I  cursed                                                                                            to     be    anon    /    a    wind-gone insignia at my wake / whateverhappens tell them not to underestimate        the energy of                                    the dead or forget the affluence of                    being alive                                                         trying I am trying                    with words                               to        be        a        kind        mirror        spinning my tale to the decibels               of my own joy / to exhume                                                                            each & every    mummified                                                                                            voice    I    free them all                                    into the future                                                                             to chant   their  golden    vicissitudes                                        &  dance    in/ audible   shapes& what's in a name    but  a  calibration   always        incomplete                        what's a name    but a vow            a root

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Headshot of Adebe DeRango-Adem

Adebe DeRango-Adem is a writer and former attendee of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (Naropa University), where she mentored with poets Anne Waldman and Amiri Baraka. She is the author of three previous full-length poetry books to date: Ex Nihilo, a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize; Terra Incognita, nominated for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award; and The Unmooring. A poem from The Unmooring was featured in the 2019 Poem-In-Your-Pocket anthology, co-created by the League of Canadian Poets and the Academy of American Poets. Adebe served as the 2019-20 Barbara Smith Writer-in-Residence with Twelve Literary Arts (Cleveland, Ohio) and was selected by Sonia Sanchez as the winner of the 2021 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest. She lives in Toronto.

Cover of "Vox Humana"

Toronto, Ontario

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

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

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