t/here it is
Distributed for Omnidawn Publishing, Inc.
t/here it is
The poems in t/here it is take multiple forms as each section reflects on variations of experience, engaging with the simultaneity of historic and present time while yearning for a future that is beyond what we can envision. In Section I, the poet grapples with ancestral legacy and connection to the natural world. Section II deals with the way one traverses the urban landscape and with various strategies of survival, and Section III recalls the observations and experiences of youth. Through nine linked poems, Section IV complicates the idea of witness under a capitalistic system bent on exploitation and devaluing the sacred human experience. Section V speaks to the lost opportunity of making profound human connections during the race to acquire more material goods. In Section VI, the poems take on the domestic and institutional places that govern our lives. A single poem forms Section VII, mapping the intersection between jazz and emotion. With Section VIII, Anderson pays homage to jazz greats and reflects on the ways that listening can carry one back to moments of growth and lamentation. The two poems that close out the book in Section IX bring the reader to a place of vulnerability, expressing the desire to be able to discern the multiple avenues of one’s journey with awareness.
98 pages | 6 x 9
“Anderson, who knows and can teach us a thing or two about the music, hears poet/pianist Cecil Taylor coming from a place ‘where the devil gives up his hold of the music.’ The devil’s loss, that devil we know, is all to our gain. t/here it is turns out to be a place somewhere ‘between spoken and vernacular,’ a place where phonemes congregate, arranging themselves into new melodies/meanings, even pronunciations. These are poems that tune your ears and turn them towards the new good news.”
A.L. Nielsen, author of A Brand New Beggar
"Anderson turns shards of memory into poems we can never forget—fleshy, raw, intimate poems that cut to the bone and cradle the heart. He summons worlds of violence and violins, revealing the secrets of a culture capable of surviving the multiple pandemics that made his world and our own. To the readers who did not know Anderson was one of America’s greatest contemporary poets.”
Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
"Anderson is obsessed with sound: The pulse of his ancestors, the rhythms of nature, the inquisitive beat of his poetry, and the sound of all three meeting on the page for what, he has convinced us, is an inevitable reckoning. His poems act as throbbing, brailed maps that we want to reread, touch, and interact to record invaluable vestiges, knowing the treasure is in the questions tendered. Poems like ‘What’s in a Name’ end with beginnings.”
Kimberly Reyes, author of Running to Stand Still
“I am mesmerized by this book. I have rarely been so swept up by the music in a poet’s language as I am in reading Anderson’s unrelenting symphony of American diction, American history, and the visceral realities of his American experience. These poems buzz with wordplay, dance with lingo, shimmy with imagery. Just as much as all that, they are unflinching in their wisdom about race, about class, about all the violence and discord in our American culture. Once I picked up t/here it is, I could not . . .—scratch that. Once t/here it is picked me up, it would not let me go.”
Jaswinder Bolina, author of The 44th of July