The Delicacy of Embracing Spirals

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One of Publisher's Weekly's Most Anticipated Poetry Books for Fall 2023!

the delicacy of embracing spirals investigates the ways in which the personal narrative of Black queer womanhood can be expressed through, a radically human lens.

"mimi tempestt writes like a third testament in which God (or our understanding) finally matures. Like a painter longed for by a million canvasses. No peer. No rival. Just a cosmos enjoyed by friends; alive in the most exciting mind of our generation."--Tongo Eisen-Martin, author of Blood on the Fog

With a visual sensibility that explodes across the page, the collection begins with microcosmic poems of personal struggle and spirals out to macrocosmic texts of social and political critique. The book culminates in a fantastic account of the staging of a play with life-threatening consequences.




About the Author

mimi tempestt (she/they) is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and daughter of California. She has a M.A. in Literature from Mills College, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Creative/Critical Ph.D. in Literature at UC Santa Cruz. Her first book, the monumental misrememberings, was published with Co-Conspirator Press//The Feminist Center for Creative Work in 2020. In 2021, she was selected for participation in the Lambda Literary Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices & Writers, and was a Creative Fellow at The Ruby in San Francisco. Her works can be found in Foglifter, Interim Poetics, and at the Studio Museum in Harlem. A native of Los Angeles, she currently resides in Berkeley, CA.

"To encounter the words of mimi tempestt on the page, or in performance, is to witness the rare transcendency of language where the line becomes an exacting blade."--Truong Tran, author of book of the other

"mimi has honed her super power as a dynamic writer who is able to swiftly insert oneself into her art in a rhythmically unique and immortal kinda way. A way that makes you see her, yourself and the placement of the universe as we've known it to be. the delicacy of embracing spirals is an astonishing creation that will be to the times what Lorraine Hansberry's Young, Gifted and Black was in the 70's and beyond. This work of art spirals from the page to the stage. From the personal (innerspace) to the universal (outerspace). mimi tempestt is truly out of this world! "--Leelee Jackson, playwright, author of Comb Your Hair (Or You'll Look Like a Slave)

"the delicacy of embracing spirals (re)tracks mimi tempestt making a bloody break north: out the ravenous L.A. grotesquerie Mama Wanda warned us about over and again. And like the late Mz. Coleman, this poet has it down pat that grit teeth sometimes mean to be shivs as much as grimace and that a grimace may as well be a smile under misogynoir's butchering ogle. Recognize, as tempestt does, that what distinguishes a casting call from a cattle call is how long the gaze fixes on you and whether the credits say your name. For tempestt, whose "body armor is a pound of sweat," the role has been to be gored again again again again, dying fiercely in scenes of such drylongso vérité you might mistake them for surreal. In this way, she carries Coleman and Kaufman with her to make a poetry I found too livid to be abject and too vivid to forget. Even as the theater's lights go up: tempestt, tempestt, tempestt."--Douglas Kearney, author of Sho

"the delicacy of embracing spirals is a ritual assemblage of flower-bearing armed spirits beautifully bleeding, brutally hewn self overstandings onto pages that can barely contain the divinity of the dance that tumbles forth between its pages. reading this book will make you better at loving yourself."--Dr. Ayodele Nzinga, First Poet Laureate of Oakland, author of Sorrowland Oracle

Praise for mimi tempestt's the monumental misrememberings


"I love this book, and I think I won't be able to do it justice by speaking about it because it's experimental. . . . The book is a tool for understanding America from an intersection I do not exist at and how living, if unchecked, could contribute to the harms that meet people like Black fem folks, Black queer folks, and Black trans folks at those intersections. It's a book I'm drawn to practically, but also just aesthetically, because it is stunning."--Hanif Abdurraqib, in his "8 Favorite Things He Can't Live Without" in New York Magazine's "The Strategist"

Publisher: City Lights Books
Pub date: October 03, 2023
144 pages
Format: Paperback