A double header of poetry with Malcolm Friend presenting Our Bruises Kept Singing Purple and S. Brook Corfman presenting Luxury, Blue Lace.
In Our Bruises Kept Singing Purple, Afro-Jamaican-Boricua poet, Malcolm Friend, has gifted us with a collection that is politically charged and culturally woke. Crafted in rhythmseasoned Latinx dialect, emerging from ancestral roots, replanted in the urban spectrum of hip-hop and rap, Friend’s voice is heart-inspired, soul-empowered, new-wave griot, a fearless weapon forged from South End Seattle, Puerto Rico, and Pittsburgh. Friend creates personal and family stories that connect communal tragedies and national consciousness in expressions of rage, affirmation and self-determination, confronting the brutal realities of being Black and young while caught in the colonial grip of America, enlisting the vibrations of sound masters like Ismael Rivera, Cheo Feliciano, Tato Laviera and Bob Marley. Friend chases ghosts that emerge from living scars and painful realizations experienced by people of color happening in the barbershop, the bar, the dining table, college, on the 7, in between a mofongo of jazz, blues, calypso, rumba, bomba, plena and dembow celebrations, where his heart is.
— Sandra María Esteves
S. Brook Corfman is the author of Luxury, Blue Lace, chosen by Richard Siken for the Autumn House Rising Writer Prize (forthcoming March 2019), the artist book Meteorites from DoubleCross Press, and The Anima, a digital chapbook of performance pieces forthcoming from GaussPDF. The recipient of grants and fellowships from Lambda Literary, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, recent work has appeared in DIAGRAM, Indiana Review, Muzzle, The Offing, Territory, and Quarterly West (Best of the Net Nomination), among other places. Born and raised in Chicago, the life now plays out from a turret in Pittsburgh.
Malcolm Friend is a poet originally from the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. He received his BA from Vanderbilt University, where he was the 2014 recipient of the Merrill Moore Prize for Poetry, and his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of the chapbook mxd kd mixtape (Glass Poetry, 2017) and the full length collection Our Bruises Kept Singing Purple (Inlandia Books, 2018), selected by Cynthia Arrieu-King as winner of the 2017 Hillary Gravendyk Prize. He has received awards and fellowships from organizations including CantoMundo, Backbone Press, the Center for African American Poetry & Poetics, and the University of Memphis. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications including La Respuesta magazine, the Fjords Review’s Black American Edition, Vinyl, Word Riot, The Acentos Review, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, and Pretty Owl Poetry. He currently works at the University of Pittsburgh as a Visiting Lecturer and serves as a Poetry Editor for FreezeRay Poetry. Together with JR Mahung he is a member of Black Plantains, an Afrocaribbean poetry collective.