Stereo(TYPE) by Jonah Mixon-Webster
The award-winning poet's darkly riotous debut, exploring stereotypes of Black male identity and sexuality in a corrupt system.
Lyrical, loud and radically urgent, Jonah Mixon-Webster's debut aims its sights at the words and images that shape us and the corrupt forces that stand in the way of our freedom. Stereo(TYPE) is a reckoning and a force. It is a revision of our most sacred mythologies - and a work of documentary poetry reporting from Mixon-Webster's hometown of Flint, Michigan, where untainted tap water is still not guaranteed and the legacies of racist policies persist.
Challenging stereotypes through scenes scattered with satire, violence, and the extreme vagaries of everyday life, Mixon-Webster explores the places where space and body, race and region and sexuality and class meet and intersect. He invents visual/sonic forms, recasts poems as FAQs and transcripts, and dives into dreamscapes and modern tragedies. Interrogating language and the ways we wield it as both sword and shield, Stereo(TYPE) is a rapturous collection of vital and beautiful poems.
Jonah Mixon-Webster is a poet and conceptual/sound artist from Flint, Michigan. His debut collection, Stereo(TYPE), has been a finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and the winner of the 2019 PEN America/Joyce Osterweil Award and the 2020 Windham-Campbell Prize. He is an alumnus of Eastern Michigan University and Illinois State University, and in addition to having served as a PEN America Writing for Justice Fellow in 2019-2020 has received fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, Center for African American Poetry and Poetics, The Conversation Literary Festival and ivoh.
“‘Jonah Mixon-Webster is dead/ and weaponless’ writes the poet. What a magnificent lie tucked into this collection. Alive, sharp, blade-heavy hands are thrown at empire and self alike. Flint’s troubled water troubled here again, the poet’s gaze and rage unflinching. I love this book that hurts me so. Mixon-Webster writes with niggas on his heart, fire in his hands. His scorching intelligence reaches for lyric and typography as weapons for real missions, real people grieved and loved and held in the belly of these poems. Don’t miss this collection. It marks the arrival of a new genius, a genius that makes me see my Black world deeper and anew.” —Danez Smith, author of Homie
“Mixon-Webster is a master of experimentation, for his work reads across multiple genres, creating new hybrids: poem-plays, poem-myths, poem-dreams, poem-dialogues, and more. This work is alive, demanding to be reckoned with, respected, and recognized.”
—Fatimah Asghar, author of If They Come for Us
“Breath-taking, bold, heart-crushing, thugged-out, elegant and extraordinary, Jonah Mixon-Webster’s unblinking work in Stereo(TYPE) is full of profound love and searing rejections. The sophistication of imagery and style, anger and truth, deeply intimate desire and macrocosmic outrage become a clarion call against passive acceptance of oppression. What a bold, necessary and stunning collection. I find myself unmoored yet more clear-eyed in our struggles reading the heartfelt daring in Jonah’s inventive poetry.” —Tracie Morris, author of Who Do With Words
“Stereo(TYPE) is an urgent cri de fe, a fiery pre-emptive strike against, and homage to, the next generation of masters and mistresses, terms that apply equally to those taking up the mantles of white supremacy and those (e.g., Kara Walker, Dawn Lundy Martin, Richard Pryor, Tisa Bryant, Douglas Kearney) making up their own suprematist/constructivist responses to the pecking orders, sidestepping self-immolation in the process. Terse, flippant, and more often right than wrong, Stereo(TYPE) is an ambidextrous skill set, multiplex declensions of that unwritten book called The Descent of Negro.” —Tyrone Williams, author of As Iz
“Jonah Mixon-Webster’s Stereo(TYPE), is a recent favorite of mine . . . One of the most inventive and necessary books I’ve ever read.”
—Gabriel Gudding, Orion Magazine
Publication Date: 5 Aug 2021