The déjà vu: black dreams & black time

Product Details
$17.95  $16.69
Coffee House Press
Publish Date
5.43 X 8.19 X 1.02 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Gabrielle Civil is a black feminist performance artist, poet, and writer originally from Detroit. She has premiered fifty performance artworks around the world. Her performance memoirs include Swallow the Fish, Experiments in Joy, (ghost gestures) and in and out of place. She teaches at the California Institute of the Arts. The aim of her work is to open up space.

Poets & Writers, "New and Noteworthy"
Ms. Magazine, "February Reads for the Rest of Us"
Literary Hub, "New Books to Dive Into"

"In this radiant work, poet and performance artist Civil pays tribute to a legacy of Black artists while contending with the 'twin moments of pandemic and uprising' after the murder of George Floyd. . . . Taken together, [Civil's] musings act as a radical reclamation of place and identity, and challenge the 'pandemic of white supremacy.' The result is an evocative work of art that brings to life an era ripe for a revolution." -Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Civil describes herself as an 'idiosyncratic writer'--a brilliant synthesis of the subtly self-conscious thinking-out-loud displayed throughout the text. Alongside Alexis Pauline Gumbs and other self-proclaimed Black feminists who have risen on the shoulders of bell hooks, Audre Lorde, and June Jordan, I count Civil as a trailblazer with my generation of writers committed to Black feminist consciousness, as a fluid, genre busting, 'idiosyncratic' archive, dedicated to uncontained, vulgar, and shimmering cycles of curiosity." --Erica N. Cardwell, The Brooklyn Rail

"As a tour, mapping, archive, and cross-genre reckoning, like [Civil's] other work, each page of the déeacute;jàagrave; vu opens up space by addressing time through dreams, memories, archived performances, and visitations to old writings with fresh eyes. . . . Her distinct voice and style rise from the page." --Amy Bobeda, Full Stop

"An exuberant collection of texts and artifacts by a Black feminist performance artist. . . An unwavering commitment to upholding a unique personal aesthetic while exploring black dreams is the driving force behind this unusual book, a kind of archive or scrapbook of performance pieces, scripts, poems, conversations, collaborations, lectures, and essays. . . .To be read, as the author suggests, like a dream: Garner what you can, and hopefully something new will unfurl in your mind." --Kirkus

"Gabrielle Civil's ambitious project the déjà vu integrates the author's performance pieces and poetry into an ongoing narrative of her life. Civil runs with the idea of black time, which melds and melts and flows and runs against the dominant and thereby white-centered conception of time. She brings up questions of what it means to dream, and to enact one's dreams, while encouraging readers to themselves keep dreaming--to dream things into being. Civil has crafted her own self-archive, documenting performances that would otherwise have been temporally and spatially situated, ensuring that she is not looked over and forgotten as black women have been for as long as memory allows. At once a meditation, a reflection, and a call to action, Civil's unique work expands genre boundaries of memoir and performance studies." --Meghana Kandlur, Seminary Co-op Bookstores

"What if we could offer our archives to each other like flowers? Hold them in glass, heavy but transparent. What if we could show each other the journey of unknowing and remembering ourselves now? Why would we wait? With this work, Gabrielle Civil continues to model generosity, bravery, and vulnerability as core principles of black