Blending poetry and memoir, conversation and performance theory, Black Body Amnesia: Poems and Other Speech Acts enlivens a personal archive of visual and verbal offerings written and organized by poet, performance artist, educator, and curator Jaamil Olawale Kosoko. Inspired by Audre Lorde’s concept of biomythography, Kosoko mixes personal history, biography, and mythology to tell a complex narrative rooted in a queer, Black, self-defined, and feminist imagination.
This collection of intertextual performance acts captures the ephemeral data often lost or edited out of Kosoko’s live performances. Developed alongside their ongoing, multi-media live art project, American Chameleon, and elaborating on the artist’s unique practice of Socio-Choreological Mapping as a means to explore queer theories of the body and its "hydraulics of grief," this book offers critical-creative frames to consider the fluid identities and lifeworlds embedded inside contemporary Black America.
With an introduction by editor Dahlia (Dixon) Li, and contributions by Sara Jane Bailes, mayfield brooks, Brenda Dixon-Gottschild, Ashley Ferro-Murray, Nadine George-Graves, Nile Harris, Ima Iduozee, Lisa Jarrett, Bill T. Jones, Jennifer Kidwell, Malkia Okech, Ada M. Patterson, Tracy K. Smith, and Jillian Steinhauer.
About the author
Jaamil Olawale Kosoko (they/he) is a multi-spirited Nigerian American author, performance artist, and curator of Yoruba and Natchez descent and originally from Detroit, MI. In Fall 2020, they were appointed the 3rd annual Alma Hawkins Visiting Chair in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at UCLA. Additionally, they are a 2020 Pew Fellow in the Arts, 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Choreography, 2019 NPN Development Fund Awardee, 2019-21 Movement Research Artist in Residence, 2018-20 Live Feed Artist at New York Live Arts, 2017-19 Princeton Arts Fellow, 2019 Red Bull Writing Fellow, 2018 NEFA NDP Production Grant recipient, 2017 MAP Fund recipient, and 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Fellow. Their creative practice draws from Black study and queer theories of the body, weaving together visual performance, lecture, ritual, and spiritual practice. Their most recent media work Chameleon (The Living Installments) premiered virtually in April 2020. Their previous works: Séancers (2017) and the Bessie nominated #negrophobia (2015), have toured internationally, appearing in major festivals including: Tanz im August (Berlin), Moving in November (Finland), Within Practice (Sweden), TakeMeSomewhere (UK), Brighton Festival (UK), Oslo Teaterfestival (Norway), and Zürich MOVES! (Switzerland), among others. Season 1 of their interview-based podcast, American Chameleon, can be found on all podcast platforms. They are the author of two chapbooks, Animal in Cyberspace and Notes on An Urban Killfloor. Their poems and essays have been included in The American Poetry Review, The Dunes Review, and The Broad Street Review, among others. They lecture regularly at Stockholm University of the Arts and Exerce Masters ICI-CCN in Montpellier, France.
Published by Wendy’s Subway, 23 × 17 cm, Softcover, 2022, 978-1-7359242-6-7