Kemi Alabi honored by Academy of American Poets


NEW YORK — A Chicago-based author and activist has acquired the First Ebook Award from the Academy of American Poets. Kemi Alabi’s “In opposition to Heaven” is scheduled for publication in Spring 2022.

Alabi, chosen for the consideration by the acclaimed poet Claudia Rankine, will obtain $5,000 and a six-week, all-expenses-paid residency on the Civitella Ranieri Middle in Umbria, Italy. The academy may also buy and distribute 1000’s of copies of “In opposition to Heaven.”

Rankine stated in a press release Thursday that “In opposition to All Heaven” was a virtuosic and multi-layered exploration of “black queer subjectivity.”

“Without delay sonic and disruptive, these poems pull collectively all the things in a world the place nothing is sacred,” she stated. “On this energetic and sensible debut, the thrust of the lyric dislodges all that’s caught and stagnant, creating new prospects for utterance.”

Alabi is cultural technique director of Ahead Collectively, which helps communities fight marginalization based mostly “on race, sexuality, and gender.” Earlier winners of the First Ebook Award, established in 1975, embody Nicole Cooley and Jenny Xie.

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