Too Much Midnight
Krista Franklin draws on Pan African histories, Black Surrealism, Afrofuturism, pop culture, art history, and the historical and present-day micro-to-macro violence inflicted upon Black people and other people of color, working to forge imaginative spaces for radical possibilities and visions of liberation.
Featuring 30 poems, 30 artworks, an author statement and an interview, Too Much Midnight chronicles the intersections between art and life, art and writing, the historical and the speculative, cultural and personal identity, the magical and the mundane.
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About the Author
Krista Franklin is a writer and visual artist whose work has appeared in Poetry, The Offing, Black Camera, Copper Nickel, Callaloo, BOMB Magazine, Encyclopedia, Vol. F-K and L-Z, and the anthologies The End of Chiraq: A Literary Mixtape, The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and Gathering Ground. Her chapbook of poems, Study of Love & Black Body, was published by Willow Books in 2012.
--Eve L. Ewing, author of 1919
"There doesn't seem to be a word big enough for all that Krista Franklin is, what miracles she can make when tested with a blank page in front of her. The specificity of her sculpting, her ability to be witness, maker, collector, and knife to all our stories. Too Much Midnight is an exercise in precision, both the blade and the wound it is thrust in. Franklin imagines and re-invents, holding a magnifying glass to things most leave unsaid. Her language collages into and onto itself, leaving the reader in the middle of a whirlwind of words and images, demanding that they contend with it all. After this book, all other language feels weak." --Fatimah Asghar, author of If They Come for Us
"Too Much Midnight is what happens when you cross Betye Saar and James Baldwin, Octavia Butler and Chuck D. Krista Franklin archives the battles and beauties of black life. Her kinships are familial ("Clifton, Brooks, Knight, Grandma & Grandpa Franklin..."), political ("Taking the Country Back: The Tea Party Pantoum"), and cultural ("Oshun As Ohio Players"). These superb poems and images synthesize intimacy and activism, passion and wonder. Franklin's artwork resonates like visual poetry, her poetry resonates like lyrical music. Too Much Midnight is phenomenal."
--Terrance Hayes, author of American Sonnets for My Past And Future Assassin
"What I love best about Krista Franklin's work is that I can never quite put my finger on why it's so affecting--Too Much Midnight, her newest volume, is no exception. Here, both the intangible and the concrete are given sublime quarter in exquisite collages, poems, and an interview with the artist-author that felt like a bonus track I would happily wait to listen to again. 'I am a weapon, ' Krista Franklin writes in the opening poem--agreed! Here, there is patience and precision, dynamics and dimension. Part origin story, part call to arms, part gallery, Too Much Midnight testifies that it is never too late to be vivid, extraterrestrial, undeniable."
--Tarfia Faizullah, author of Registers of Illuminated Villages
"As practices of racial violence continue to organize themselves around multi-scalar human vulnerabilities, black creatives invent and reinvent infrastructures of liberation. In Too Much Midnight, Krista Franklin imagines blackness as the practice of moving through historically present plantation logics. Visually and textually, frayed histories, geographies, and narratives intersect with portals and polymers and integers and diamond film. Visually and textually, Franklin signals black freedom as a protracted archive of black livingness."
--Katherine McKittrick, author of Demonic Grounds
"Too Much Midnight is a juke-jointed collage of poetry, proclamation, portrait and paint. Franklin blooms each page into bellwether of blues. These 21st century hoodoo-drenched epistles scratch and pop across the memory like diamond needles in a galactic groove. When you fall face-forward through these verses, you'll roll hard with what she's reckoned: Here's a mirror. Look behind You, beyond You. Here's a portal. Jump through it."
--Tyehimba Jess, author of Olio
"What will be a greatest hit compilation for some & a superb introduction for others, Krista Franklin's Too Much Midnight, beautifully and powerfully displays how x-acto knife and pen are formidable tools to present narratives rooted and/or guided by imagination and purpose. The poems and visual works are fantastical prophecy more than worthy of examination and praise. This work unravels wounds as much as it haunts and lingers like whispers thick on the ear. Ms. Franklin is a wicked conjurer by way of the funk trunk that is Dayton, Ohio and her brew is a significant addition to the cannon of work that weaves blackness, womanhood and popular culture meticulously. In the words of the mighty purple one Prince Rogers Nelson, All the critics love her in New York! Bravo Sis!!!"
--avery r. young, author of neckbone: visual verses
"Too Much Midnight is a refreshing, and all-consuming text. Krista Franklin generously unfurls her dexterity and many gifts in the name of what might be possible by way of liberation and revolution. The text and images form an overwhelming tapestry of brilliance. This is work of uplift, of persistence, of dreams for a new horizon and a better world beyond it."
--Hanif Abdurraqib, author of A Fortune for Your Disaster
"Krista Franklin's poetry and artwork have stunned me into the next decade of this young millennium. There is nothing shy or demure about Too Much Midnight, from its critical framing as an album to its articulation of image by multiple means. Franklin's project embraces the poetic utterance as a sibling to the impulse of color and form to create a menagerie-experience that celebrates objects of personal and cultural narrative as artifacts of survival. As a long-time admirer and collector of Krista Franklin's work and sometimes collaborator with the artist, I am struck by the way she effortlessly gleans such vivid intensity from the everyday-ness of living, which is to say, Too Much Midnight takes living seriously. The poems and images here are not interested in a clear trajectory and, instead, explore the multitude of ways the reader, and viewer, travels from point a to point be, moves between 'the sight of angels' to 'the world ... burning.' We come to understand within these pages that Time is an illusion. Depending on the body that you live in and that history is slippery as memory. Franklin asks, where do we connect? And when? as she also, simultaneously provides the landscape wherein our connection is made possible. Expect to meet a myriad of souls within these pages."
--Ruth Ellen Kocher, author of Third Voice
"Krista Franklin's hands hold knife, pen, water, and oil--all precious things--with such skill that they can transform this shitty world into flowers. Too Much Midnight is a living arrangement that doesn't sit still on your table, but crawls through space remixing time and brightening our understanding of life."
--April Sheridan, Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection, School of the Art Institute of Chicago