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Adebe D.A. View All →

Adebe DeRango-Adem is a writer whose work has been published in sources such as The Claremont Review, CV2, the Toronto Star, Room Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue and Jacket2 (forthcoming). She is a former attendee of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (Naropa University), where she mentored with poets Anne Waldman and Amiri Baraka. Her debut book of poems, Ex Nihilo (Frontenac House, 2010) is a text that considers how art can respond to the annihilation of particular identities struggling to exist in an impossibly post-racial world. In the same year of its publication, Ex Nihilo became a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the world’s largest prize for writers under thirty. Adebe DeRango-Adem is also the editor, with Andrea Thompson, of Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out (Inanna Publications, 2010), an anthology of art & writing that explores the question of how mixed-race women in North America identify in the twenty-first century. Her most recent poetry collection, Terra Incognita (Inanna Publications, 2015), creatively explores various racial discourses and interracial crossings both buried in the grand narratives of history and the everyday experiences of being mixed-race. Poems from the collection were longlisted for the 2016 Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize, judged by award-winning poet Claudia Rankine. Terra Incognita was also nominated for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Adebe was called a “young writer to watch” in 2016 by Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke, on behalf of the CBC. Her newest poetry collection, The Unmooring, was published in 2018 by Mansfield Press. A poem from the collection was featured in the 2019 Poem-In-Your-Pocket anthology, co-created by the League of Canadian Poets and the Academy of American Poets. She served as the 2019-20 Barbara Smith Writer-in-Residence with Twelve Literary Arts, in Cleveland, Ohio.

representation matters

Just over a decade ago, when I was an intern with Colorlines magazine (now Race Forward), my main task was to help build the framework for “Drop the I-Word” — a campaign to change journalistic copy-editing conventions across the U.S. We sought to have The Associated Press (AP) and news outlets cease using the word “illegal” to describe…

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letting the light get in

  A month from today I will, hopefully, be basking in the nautical glory that is the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, finding kin amongst the many who, like me, are obsessed with the beauty and mystery of the mermaid. Perhaps the literary incarnations of the mermaid, namely The Little Mermaid, have attributed the mermaid to the…

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the rest is rust and stardust

My keys from the Chelsea Hotel.  I never found out who might have been there before me.  I later fantasized about sneaking into the same suite in a future time, for fun, but never went through with it.  Now the hotel is being torn down to the ground, the ghosts of Ginsberg et al. are rampant.…

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anthology launch

After months of organizing and reading and emailing and editing and proofreading and laughing and hair-pulling and everything else that happens when you put a book together, on behalf of me and my co-editor, Andrea Thompson, I would like to finally present our book, Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out.  It has finally been published…

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ex nihilo @ poets house, nyc

Monday, June 28–Saturday, July 31 The 18th Annual Poets House Showcase Ten River Terrace New York, NY Opening Reception: Monday, June 28, 6:00-8:00pm On view: through July 31 during regular library hours My book, Ex Nihilo, will be showcased in New York City for the 18th Annual Poets House Showcase, June 28-July 31, 2010. Poets…

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upcoming readings

To my dear friends far and wide, Many of you (with gratitude) have been asking me where to go to purchase my new book of poems, Ex Nihilo.  I don’t have everyone’s personal email, so here’s the deal: The book is making its way across bookstores this summer, and should be available in local bookstores…

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launching ex nihilo / my debut

“The passion caused by the great and sublime in nature is astonishment, and astonishment is that state of the soul in which all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror. The mind is so entirely filled with its object that it cannot entertain any other, nor reason on that object which fills it.…

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