July 11, 2017

Tongo Eisen-Martin & Derek Fenner


Tuesday, July 11
7:00 pm

Passages Bookshop
1223 NE MLK Blvd.

Free admission


Tongo Eisen-Martin is the author of someone's dead already (Bootstrap Press, 2015) now in its third printing, and his poetry has been featured in Harper's Magazine. He is also a movement worker and educator whose work in Rikers Island was featured in the New York Times. He has been a faculty member at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University, and his curriculum on the extrajudicial killing of Black people, "We Charge Genocide Again!" has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. His next book, Heaven Is All Goodbyes, will be the sixty-first book in the City Lights Pocket Poets series.

Derek Fenner is an artist, educator, and researcher living in Oakland, California. He completed a BFA in painting and photography at the University of Cincinnati and an MFA in writing and poetics at Naropa University. After a decade of experience as an art educator in the juvenile justice system, he is completing a doctorate in education at Mills College. His research interests include youth justice, youth participatory action research, decolonizing methodologies, and art-centered learning. In 2000 he co-founded Bootstrap Press, which has published more than forty books. His latest book of poems, Hermeticities & Others, was published in 2016.


You can tell by my car's wheels that everyone who has ridden with me
isn't still alive. Also, that I like my drinks neat, bottled, and in a bus
stop . . .  Also, that we are drowning in precinct paper, department store
floor plans, and applications to the moon. We can change the color of
our snot from gifted to heart attack. I'll tell you about ashes later . . . 
But where are all these angels coming from smelling like the cigarette
that fails? And why is the man on the safe side of these headlights
freezing up?

-- If you got nothing to say at my funeral, I'll speak on your behalf.

Tongo Eisen-Martin


Everybody is psychic
right before they die
I stop & listen to the street's
tone -- a cascading drift
of language bangs
Overhead carrier doves
spit on modern tombstones
Condominiums in the kill zone

Derek Fenner