Paul Hlava Ceballos and Quenton Baker with Natalie A. Martinez

We are delighted to be helping do several things at once in this special virtual program. First is to celebrate the publication of an astounding, layered book of poetry, critique, commentary, and art, by four significant artists and scholars, this centering on empire and ‘the poetics of reckoning. This book, Banana [_______] / we pilot the blood has within it works of poetry by Seattle-based poets Paul Hlava Ceballos and Quenton Baker, and it also has within it a dialogue between scholar/author Christina Sharpe and artist Torkwase Dyson. Not only is the publication of this striking book by these particular individuals to be celebrated, but that it is one of a group of new 2021 releases by a wonderful new press based in Olympia, The 3rd Thing. Its first four releases came out at the worst possible time in 2020 in terms of the pandemic, and now a group of new books is entering the world, including the one to be read and seen of tonight.

This program, featuring Paul Hlava Ceballos and Quenton Baker, brings new work to the fore. Paul Hlava Ceballos’ Banana [________], which is due to come out in a full-length monograph from the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2022, ‘collages declassified CIA documents, corporate reports, horticultural papers and personal accounts into a bloody portrait of multinational exploitation.’

Quenton Baker, a poet, educator, and Cave Canem fellow, has been known here and far for his extraordinary debut collection, This Glittering Republic. we pilot the blood ruminates on the afterlife of slavery, using US Senate documents in the wake of the 1841 revolt of enslaved people aboard the brig Creole as a point of departure.

Tonight the authors appear in conversation with Natalie A. Martínez a queer Chicanx poet, brujx, Aries, twin, scholar and curator residing in the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish Peoples. Her work is interested in exploring themes around legacies of cultural dispossession, racism, miscegenation, trauma, illness, queerness and the body related to her identities as a multi-racial person with roots in the four-corners region of New Mexico, Europe & North Dakota and Montana (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa).

The contributions of Christina Sharpe and Torkwase Dyson, within the book, should also be noted, with Christina Sharpe, presently professor of English Literature and Black Studies at York University in Toronto, and the author of In the Wake: On Blackness and Being, in dialogue with internationally renowned interdisciplinary artist Torkwase Dyson offering a radiant, informed ‘center’ to this beautiful book.

A program, for many reasons, not to be missed.



Banana [ ] / We Pilot the Blood Cover Image
ISBN: 9781734407181
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: 3rd Thing - November 2nd, 2021

This Glittering Republic Cover Image
ISBN: 9780997199604
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Willow Publishing - November 15th, 2016

In the Wake: On Blackness and Being Cover Image
ISBN: 9780822362944
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Duke University Press - November 14th, 2016

Virtually Hosted by the Elliott Bay Book Company
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 6:00pm
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