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:: This Week's Word on the Street ::  

“Samiya Bashir plays language like some great players work a sax. To experience this book is to experience true pleasure, but Bashir uses the logic of tones and scales and resonance to make our hearts ache a little, too. Even when they are rendered a little strange—as the equations that describe the laws of physics seem strange until we get a handle on them—the truths she points to cannot be refuted. Wrapped up in the calculated music of these poems, what she has to tell us cannot be ignored.” 



- six -

|| movement by keyon gaskin + filmed with Roland Dahwen Wu & Patua Films ||

"Go on. Trust me. Really take in the light."

This month, in Washington D.C. at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs' national gathering of writers, editors, publishers, student and educators, I debuted the final piece of the FIELD THEORIES film at the D.C. Arts Center. Stay tuned for information about the March debut of the full FIELD THEORIES FILM in New York City!


"Soaring and raw, these poems 'better' American Poetry by battering down
racial pieties of our white neoliberal nation. This anthology is an explosive
Cri de Coeur of these times." -
Cathy Park Hong

With just a week, left, the poems continue to live and breathe. In addition to Poem-a-Day's publication of "At Harlem Hospital across the street from the Schomburg the only thing to eat is a Big Mac" last week, I was thrilled to help welcome this beautiful anthology, Bettering American Poetry 2015, into the world.

Edited by Amy KingVanessa Angelica Villarreal, and Nikki Wallschlaeger, pick up your copy to find my poem "ha ha ha niggers are the worst," alongside exciting new work by Hanif Abdurraqib, Aleph Altman-Mills, Manuel Arturo Abreu, Fatimah Asghar, Amber Atiya, Malaka Badr, Aziza Barnes, Jenny Boully, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Wo Chan, Hayan Charara, Jos Charles, Don Mee Choi, Franny Choi, Aaron Coleman, Eduardo C. Corral, Rio Cortez, Cynthia Cruz, Kyle Dargan, Natalie Diaz, Tafisha A. Edwards, and many more amazing voices.

"We feel that to “better” American poetry is to jam dominant systems of taste to the best of our abilities," say the editors, "and to resignify the very phrase “American poetry” with the languages that it so desperately lacks. We intend to center voices of resistance, subjectivities that emerge from the radical margins, artists whose Americanness transcends nationalism and other borders, perspectives historically denied institutional backing--in short, poets and poetries that are urgent and necessary but do not get along nicely with Power.
Publication date: March 1st, 2017

Nightboat Books
Paper $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-937658-63-2
6.25 x 8 in 128 pages Poetry
Publicity contact:
Stephen Motika


These poems span lyric, narrative, dramatic, and multi-media experience, engaging their containers while pushing against their constraints
Field Theories wends its way through quantum mechanics, chicken wings, Newports, and love, melding blackbody theory (idealized perfect absorption vs. the whitebody’s idealized reflection) with live Black bodies. 

Woven through experimental lyrics is a heroic crown of sonnets that wonders about love, intent, identity, hybridity, and how we embody these interstices.

Albert Murray said, “the second law of thermodynamics ain’t nothin but the blues.” So what is the blue of how we treat each other, ourselves, and the world, of how the world treats us?

Responsibility and Relevance:
The Role of the Artist in an Ever-Changing Contemporary World

Sunday, February 26, 2017
3:00pm  5:00pm

Lewis & Clark College 
0615 SW Palatine Hill Rd
Portland, OR 97219

A panel discussion with Samiya Bashir, Randy Gragg, Eleanora Beck, Jon Raymon, Tad Savinar, and moderated by Randy Gragg.

Samiya Bashir
Photo Credit: Kenan Banks
Samiya Bashir’s books of poetry: Field Theories, Gospel, and Where the Apple Falls, and anthologies, including Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art, exist.

Sometimes she makes poems of dirt.

Sometimes zeros and ones.

Sometimes variously rendered text.

Sometimes light.

She lives in Portland, Ore, with a magic cat who shares her obsessions with trees and blackbirds and occasionally crashes her classes and poetry salons at
Reed College.
F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
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S A M I Y A B A S H I R dot com
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S U B S C R I B E on Y O U T U B E
Copyright © 2017 Samiya Bashir, All rights reserved.

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