Tureeda Mikell and Susana Praver-Pérez: A Dual East Bay Poetry Launch

May 20 2024 - 7:00pm

FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.

Join us on Monday, May 20th at 7pm at Pegasus Books Downtown as we celebrate the release of wonderful new poetry collections by East Bay poets Tureeda Mikell and Susana Praver-Pérez, both from Black Lawrence Press. Friends of the store and veteran Lyrics & Dirges Poetry Series readers, Mikell (The Body: Oracle of Memory) and Praver-Pérez (Return Against the Flow) will read from and discuss their new collections, in conversation with Oakland poet, musician, and artist Avotcja.  Copies of each collection will be available for purchase and signing.

About the books:

THE BODY: ORACLE OF MEMORY by Tureeda Mikell

Mikell's second full-length collection, The Body: Oracle of Memory is an unapologetic analog of remembrances, immune systems, and visions that unwittingly holds us accountable as we engage its re-run fast-forward bio-magnetic sense reactor that tests the limits of today‘s western dictum. The Body may leave one in awe of its intelligence reviewing laws of ontologic mystery.

(In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to its catalogue. The Body: Oracle of Memory was originally selected by Nomadic.)

These verses by Tureeda Mikell sing the centuries of abuse and exploitation of Black bodies with utmost storytelling prowess, lustrous clarity, and galactic tone. She is Cosmic Mother, Iyami Aje. Poems of pain, as presented by Mikell, sting as they heal; even the funny ones slap. The subcutaneous wounds of memory can hide no longer—Mikell ruthlessly opens them with pure warrior priestess fire for complete healing. Behold her medicine of word: Nothing less than transcendence."

Youssef Alaoui, author of Fiercer Monsters

RETURN AGAINST THE FLOW by Susana Praver-Pérez

Return Against the Flow by Susana Praver-Pérez is a memoir-in-verse that travels back and forth between Puerto Rico and its diaspora, much like the island’s pattern of circular migration over the years. Reflecting her personal journey across geographies and languages, Susana’s poems move between English and Spanish, and capture the tempo of ambient sounds, such as drumbeats of bomba, or a black-plumed chango chirping at dawn. She unflinchingly explores the daily struggles Puerto Rico faces, while exuberantly celebrating the island’s culture, its peoples, and the concept of “return”. This is a  voyage via words the reader will remember long after turning the last page.

(In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to its catalogue. The Body: Oracle of Memory was originally selected by Nomadic.)

"Wanderings and reverie, memory and searching for a place to call home in the aftermath of Hurricane María, Susana Praver-Pérez turns to poetry. Through intertextuality and in conversation with the works of other poets and writers de aquí y de allá, these poems weave and stitch together moments of solace, joy, and healing."

—Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, professor at Queens College, editor, translator, and author of Becoming Julia de Burgos: The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon

About the poets:

Tureeda Ture Ade Mikell, Story Medicine Woman, author, activist for holism, called ‘word magician,’ is an award-winning poet, published nationally and internationally. Qigong Healer, workshop leader, storyteller, lyricist, performance artist, founder of The Tree of Life Foundation H.L.P. , advocate for youth and adults. Her full length collection, Synchronicity, The Oracle of Sun Medicine, was released in 2020, and nominated for the California Book Award. She is also co-curator of the Patrice Lumumba Anthology, released in 2021 by Nomadic Press, both now at Black Lawrence Press.

Susana Praver-Pérez is a Pushcart-nominated poet and a winner of the San Francisco/Nomadic Press Literary Award (2021). Susana’s first full-length collection of poetry Hurricanes, Love Affairs, and Other Disasters, was published by Nomadic Press in 2021 and won the 2022 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award. Her second full-length collection, Return Against the Flow, is slated to be published by Black Lawrence Press in early 2024. Susana divides her time between Oakland, California and San Juan, Puerto Rico and writes through the lens formed in the liminal space between languages, cultures, and geographies.

Event address: 
Pegasus Books Downtown
2349 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
Event Category: 
Shattuck Location