Join us for a virtual conversation with authors JD Scott and Tenea D. Johnson on Thursday, June 17, at 7PM! JD Scott conjures up unruly personae that are propelled by queer fantasies, youthful regrets, incantations, and apocryphal parables. His new book, Mask for Mask is a kaleidoscopic poetry collection, one that is both formally innovative and an imaginative descent into LGBTQ+ undergrounds and underworlds. Award-winning author Tenea D. Johnson's newest book is called Broken Fevers, a collection of 14 stories of speculative fiction ranging from humor to horror. These two innovative authors will be discussing their work and experiences, and we are looking forward to a great conversation!
Poetry. LGBTQIA Studies. "JD Scott's queer-divine poems are both exorbitant and restrained, a decoction of 19th century urges regaled in the 'lace and stain' of diction, harnessed in stanzas, belted into the Escalade of lyric and driven through a 21st century synthscape of emporia and empyreans. The result is an ensorcelling surface riven with a deeper moire, to wit: what is the 'cytoplasm that keeps this car crash together?' Could it be youth, desire, or something altogether rarer, like tenderness, or care."—Joyelle McSweeney
"Melding the profane with the sacred, the mundane with the mythic, JD Scott's work shines poetry's searchlight into the nightclub toilets of youthful debauchery to reveal transcendent cathedrals of timeless yearning. Tender as it is bold, spiritual, and erotic, this collection was 'sucked into my lungs [so] that every exhale after will be called offering.'"—Heidi Lynn Staples
"The fact that JD Scott writes about jjimjjimbangs (Korean saunas) should be enough for me to love this collection, but it's also the fact their poetry is exuberant and scintillating. It's a magpie's nest of verbal delights plucked from the late capitalist rituals of wellness, queer kitsch, and text-speak. This book is the queered language of artifice that points at artifice. In a world that buffs our bodies down to whetstones of sameness, MASK FOR MASK celebrates excess, and I'm all for it."—Cathy Park Hong
JD Scott is the author of Moonflower, Nightshade, All the Hours of the Day (&NOW Books, 2020), a debut short story collection which won the 2018 Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize. They’re also the author of the poetry collection, Mask for Mask (New Rivers Press, 2021) and two poetry chapbooks: FUNERALS & THRONES (Birds of Lace Press, 2013) and Night Errands (YellowJacket Press, 2012), which was the winner of the 2011 Peter Meinke Prize. Scott’s prose and poems has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Ninth Letter, Salt Hill, Sonora Review, The Pinch, Spoon River Poetry Review, Bayou, and elsewhere. Other writing has been featured in the Best American Experimental Writing and Best New Poets anthologies. Scott’s accolades include being awarded a Lambda Emerging LGBTQ Voices fellowship, attending the Poetry Foundation’s inaugural Poetry Incubator, and being awarded residencies at the Millay Colony, the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and Writers at the Eyrie. Scott holds an MFA from the University of Alabama, where they edited and designed for Black Warrior Review.
From humor to horror, the speculative fiction in Broken Fevers has a gleaming edge. This new collection by award winner Tenea D. Johnson features 13 tales. Though many are dark, they pull one through the light, if only for a moment, to visit the next vista, a new world, or this one recast in an uncertain future. Whether it be the lengths a woman will go to for performance art or how best to communicate the Middle Passage’s horrors to the privileged, darkness has room to breathe here and bring wonder.
Social commentary and genetic adaptation exist alongside fairy crises, alien liminalities, and the responsibilities of those holding up the world and those who communicate with the next. Broken Fevers shares the heart in the hurt, the courage in a cataclysm, and the connections that make we wherever we find ourselves.
“Stories like thick dreams, stories rainbowing your thoughts into new patterns the way crystals scatter light, stories like diagrams of promises kept or buried, lost or exploded—Tenea’s Broken Fevers collection will fuel your inner truthseeker with beauty, strength, and a calm determination to carry on.”— Nisi Shawl, author of Everfair
“Tenea Johnson’s new collection, Broken Fevers, is a wide-ranging selection of stories—science fiction, dark fantasy, horror, folk tales and mythologies, country magic—presented in clear, crisp writing, minus all affectation, and electric with undercurrents of politics, feminism, and social justice. For lovers of the short story, don’t miss this powerful voice.”— Jeffrey Ford, author of A Natural History of Hell
Tenea D. Johnson was born in Kentucky. From it, she took the calm of the Ohio River and the swell of honesty (sometimes refreshing, sometimes catastrophic) that afflicts the folks born along its banks. Writing sustains her; music saves her. As often as possible, she straddles their borders to create compositions/fusions/hyphenated watchamacallit better heard than described. So far the Knitting Factory, Dixon Place, The Public Theater, and others have opened their doors to the form. Her work has appeared in Mothership: Tales of Afrofuturism, African Voices, Arise, Humanities in the South, Sycrorax’s Daughters, Contemporary American Women Poets, Shades of Blue and Gray,Whispers in the Night: Dark Dreams III, and Necrologue, among others. She is the author of a poetry/short prose collection, Starting Friction as well as the novels Smoketown, R/evolution, and Evolution. Smoketown won the Carl Brandon Parallax Award; R/evolution received an honorable mention the same year. In May 2020 Blueprints for Better Worlds was released as well as the social good site, buildabetter.world.