dear reader

Evie Shockley at Pegasus Books, Berkeley April 2007. Photo licenced under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

welcome to our site! evie shockley’s most recent, and remarkable, collection of poetry the new black utilizes a wide variety of poetic forms—canonized and not—including sonnets, mesostics, quasi-haikus and deconstructed blues pieces. she employs such a variety of forms to (as she calls for in her text renegade poetics: black aesthetics and formal innovation in african american poetry) subvert the notion of a singular black aesthetic or singular african american poetic form. this website, named after shockley’s “fare-well letters,” seeks to replicate her formal innovation from the new black digitally: instead of mesostics, this website utilizes plugins and twitter bots but, both share in a spirit and project of experimentation. by digitally mirroring shockley’s formal innovation we hope to introduce, illustrate, and—to the best of our abilities—uncover some of shockley’s brilliance for readers who are unfamiliar with or confounded by it (as we sometimes are too!)