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100 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $15.00 (US $15.00)

Publication Date: January 2022

ISBN 9781773860626

Rights: US

Caitlin Press Inc. (Jan 2022)

Price: $15.00


In this follow-up to her award-winning debut collection, How She Read, Chantal Gibson delivers an unflinching critique of the representation of Blackness, past and present, in with/holding.with/holding is a collection of genre-blurring poems that examines the representation and reproduction of Blackness across communication media and popular culture. Together, text and image call up a nightmarish and seemingly insatiable buzzing-clicking-scrolling-sharing appetite for a daily diet of Black suffering. Drawing on icons past and present, this collection imagines Black voices moving freely across time and space: the hold of a 19th century slave ship diagram printed on a white rubber yoga mat; a whispering set of 1950s grinning salt 'n pepper shakers on a Pinterest dinner table; ringside with wrestler Sweet Daddy Siki at 1970s Maple Leaf Gardens on YouTube; and the dissenting centre of the 2020 Black Square. In the journey from longing to belonging, with/holding disrupts the fetishizing algorithms that continue to reproduce Black pain, promote anti-Black racism, and reinforce white supremacy. As an act of protest, this collection imagines how to survive the unspeakable present. As an act of reclamation it seeks to build a meaningful connection to the past through transcending acts of resistance.

Author Biography

Chantal Gibson is an award-winning writer-artist-educator living on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish Peoples. Gibson's debut book of poetry, How She Read (Caitlin Press, 2019), was the winner of the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, a finalist for both the 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize and the inaugural Jim Deva Prize for Writing That Provokes. An award-winning teacher, she teaches writing and visual communication in the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at Simon Fraser University.