Cynthia Manick reads from and discusses No Sweet Without Brine, her sophomore poetry collection, an elegiac ode to Black womanhood in four parts. No Sweetness Without Brine is a playlist of everyday life, introverted thoughts, familial bonds, and social commentary. Fellow poets Fred Joiner, Sumita Chakraborty and Khalisa Rae join Cynthia Manick in reading and discussion.
We look forward to your presence at Rofhiwa for an evening of poetry and conversation. This is an in-person, in store event.
We will offer seating for up to 40 in-person guests, with priority access given to those who purchase the book. To register for the in person in store event, click on "Save My Spot" and purchase your paperback. This will ensure that your seat is reserved on the day of the event.
About Cynthia Manick:
Cynthia Manick is the author of No Sweet Without Brine (Amistad-HarperCollins, forthcoming 2023), editor of The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry (Blair Publishing, 2021), and author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). She has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, MacDowell Colony, and Château de la Napoule among others. Winner of the Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry, Manick is Founder of the reading series Soul Sister Revue; and her poem "Things I Carry Into the World" was made into a film by Motionpoems, an organization dedicated to video poetry, and has debuted on Tidal for National Poetry Month. A storyteller and performer at literary festivals, libraries, universities, and most recently the Brooklyn and Frye museum’s, Manick’s work has appeared in the Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day Series, Callaloo, Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB), The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She currently serves on the board of the International Women’s Writing Guild and the editorial board of Alice James Books. poet and author obsessed with ancestry, memory, and the process of staying within one's own body. Their work leaves spells and incantations for others to follow for themselves.
About Fred Joiner:
Fred Joiner is a poet and curator based in Chapel Hill, NC. He is 2019 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. His work has appeared in Callaloo, Gargoyle, and Fledgling Rag, among other publications. Fred has read his work nationally and internationally. Joiner has received awards and fellowships from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and St.
Mary’s College of Maryland. Most recently, one of Joiner’s poems was selected by curator and critic A.M. Weaver as part of her 5 x 5 public art project, Ceremonies of Dark Men. Another one of Joiner’s poems recently won the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art’s Divine Comedy Poetry Contest, in response to Abdoulaye Konate’s textile work.
About Sumita Chakraborty:
Sumita Chakraborty is the author of the poetry collection Arrow (Alice James Books (U.S.)/Carcanet Press (U.K.), 2020), which received coverage in the New York Times, NPR, and. the Guardian. Her work in progress includes a scholarly monograph, Grave Dangers: Poetics and the Ethics of Death in the Anthropocene, which is under contract with the University of Minnesota Press. Her poems have been published in Poetry, the American Poetry Review, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, the Best American Poetry series, The Rumpus,
The Offing, and elsewhere; her essays and articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Cultural Critique, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, Modernism/modernity, and College Literature, among others. She has received honors from the Poetry Foundation, the Forward Arts Foundation (U.K.), and Kundiman. She is Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at North Carolina State University.
No Sweet Without Brine:
Cynthia Manick’s poetry collection personifies love of self and culture through fresh observations and bitter truths voiced with breathtaking lyricism.
No Sweet Without Brine is both a soulful and celebratory collection that summons sticky sweet memories with an acrid aftertaste of deep thought. Satisfying moments are captured in odes to Idris Elba’s dulcet tones on a meditation app and the satisfaction of half-priced Entenmann’s poundcake; in childlike observations of parental Black love, the coveted female form on Jet Magazine covers, and the desire for Zamunda to be a real place full of Black joy. The sour taps into an analysis of reclusiveness, silencing catcalls from men on the street, and detailed recipes and advice to the Black girls forced to endow themselves with armor against the world.
Cynthia Manick’s latest is a playlist of everyday life, introverted thoughts, familial bonds, and social commentary. In piercing language, she traces the circle of life for a narrator who dares to exist between youthful remembrances and adulthood realities. Each poem in No Sweet Without Brine is a reminder that a hint of sorrow makes the celebration and recognition of the glory of Blackness in all ways, and through all people, that much sweeter.