ISBN-10: 1643621106
ISBN-13: 9781643621104
Publisher: Nightboat Books
Publish Date: 09/14/2021
Dimensions: 8.35" L, 5.43" W, 0.63" H



Price: $16.95



Harnessing street protest as a poetic formation, Villainy exhibits the desires that bring queers into public space.

Andrea Abi-Karam answers the call to action for poetry itself to become the radical accomplice it was destined to be in their second book, Villainy. In order to live through the grief of the Ghostship Fire & the Muslim Ban, Villainy foments political action in public spaces, and indexes the various emotional states, such as rage, revelry, fear, grief, and desire to which queers must tend during protest. In scenes loaded with glitter, broken glass, and cum, Abi-Karam insists that in order to shatter the rising influence of new fascism we must embrace the collective work of antifascists, street medics, and queer exhibitionists and that the safety that we risk is reckless and necessary. Disruptive and demanding, these punk poems embody direct action and invite the audience into the desire-filled slippage between public sex and demonstration. At heart, Villainy aims to destroy all levels of hierarchy to establish a participatory, temporary autonomous zone in which the targeted other can thrive.

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"Abi-Karam writes with a revolutionary energy that invites the reader to rethink how a poem sounds, and what it can do on the page and beyond."Publishers Weekly

"Infused throughout Villainy is a frenetic playfulness, a 'TRANSFUSION OF GLAM, ' and a celebration of all things punk, sexy, dirty, risky, villainous. Abi-Karam's use of all capitals tattoos onto their poems a set of teeth, which, coupled with the baseline-beating anaphora, gives this collection a heady directness and evokes the energy and rhythm of a street protest."Harriet Books

""In this anarchist poetic manifesto, the theme of survival in the face of surveillance coexists with queer desire and joy in public places. Queer sex in public–like a dance floor, a museum room, etc.–in particular, becomes a way to articulate rebellion in the face of state surveillance. Abi-Karam's work is specifically interested in the healing and empowering nature of collective work and co-existence, whether that's in their personal politics or creation of art."Electric Literature

"Abi-Karam's Villainy is a dizzyingly captivating work of anarchist poetics, seamlessly weaving the blunt language of the Anarchist Manifesto with a deeply vulnerable and inviting syntax. While this book places American imperial violence in its crosshairs, it is first and foremost a document of grief, both personal and collective."LARB

"While many aspire towards a 'toothless' antiseptic poetry, Abi-Karam proudly displays their titanium fangs, delighted to bear the smoldering crown of the insurrectionist. They loom leather-clad at the edge of a churning vat of nuclear waste, detonation device firmly in hand. 'I am the villain, ' they declare with a radioactive glint in their eye, before plunging headfirst into the abyss."–The Adroit Journal

"At the heart of Abi-Karam's Villainy is an impulse to keep us alive to the world and to language in a way that is necessary to activism."EcoTheo

"Villainy loosens away from villain-as-identity and moves towards forces, energy transfers, and what collectivity engages and reworks in struggle. Refusing optic reduction, staying tactically capacious, in pursuit of another world."–The Poetry Project Newsletter

"Villainy is a timely collection and it should be an enduring one, something we keep reading and talking about. The future is dire and the time for action is now."–Cleveland Review of Books

"In Villainy, it's Abi-Karam's resolve that we hear, full and flagrant above all... In this dream, all of us do, and somehow – swept up in the motion, teeth bared in joy or in rage – we find a way through."–Oxford Review of Books

"By following the threads of statement and metaphor that weave in and out through Andrea Abi-Karam's pages, we can appreciate how cohesive the writer's vision is, and how appropriate the choice of disruption for their poetic project."–RHINO

"Many of the poems in VILLAINY are set in the radical queer spaces that Abi-Karam inhabits; they lean into the eroticism and overwhelm, producing a viscerality that only poems can. Simultaneously, the book asks, but what else can the poem do?"Vagabond City

"I hope this book finds its way into the hands of those queer lives who need healing, whose hearts need the warm of Andrea's spitfire text. These poems wrestle with the world, its violence and fleeting joy, and invites us to confront these truths, comforts, and peace, in ourselves."–Wussy

"Language is a way of forming the world we want to see in anticipation of its arrival. So too, Villainy shows us, are grief and friendship."–Full Stop

"In an industry that encourages the toothless, Andrea Abi-Karam's propulsive Villainy calls: 'give the poem teeth.' In an industry that incants, this book incites, revealing the revolutionary potential of desire, of determined disfiguration, of poetry itself, which, in Abi-Karam's hands and ways becomes, as the street, a site of unbounded action. Here is a poetry that demolishes poetry. A fire to our fascist order. A book fully alive."–Solmaz Sharif, author of National Book Award Finalist Look

"Andrea I like your experience. Thanks thanks thanks for this frank obtuse poetix, this wriggling book. Its wisdom is when I think I've summed it up it's something else - action and spatial, flat versatile wily & interior maybe even yeah poetic in that way only prose can be but CAPS-STRONG, manifesting today. Oh and here's my favorite line: resist the present approach impurity. Yessss!"–Eileen Myles

"'If we are to start again, ' White says, 'renewed or better', Villainy insists, we'll first suffer the pain of radical un-making. Willingness to suffer such pains, in, for example, the desire to be 'flat' (which would hurt) constitutes villainy while the world belongs to '1. CAPITALISM 2. THE STATE 3. COLONIALISM 4. NAZIS 5. RACISM 6. OPPRESSION.' This is a text that performs the awful compression - squeezing - of our capacities collectively to deal with reckless disrespect for life not just under this government. This book is fire. But not to burn-it-down. To light my way to a friend."–Simone White

"In these incisive poems, Andrea Abi-Karam engages with both language and the body as sites of becoming and unbecoming, as gateways through which to summon infinite possibilities. VILLAINY asks how language can be an 'accomplice to radical action, ' and then–in this work sharp as glass shattering, hallowed as a body shaped into a home for one's dead–answers."–Zeyn Joukhadar

"Villainy is openly and honestly passionate and heartbreaking, deeply personal and savagely political, attempting to articulate shape and purpose out of an enormous grief and loss, as Abi-Karam is somehow able to articulate an incredibly powerful response to what might, at first, appear a rage and a grief too large to be possible to write through or around at all, let alone so well." rob mclennan

"This is poetry that is anti-poetry that is very wise and confrontational. To make a new way we must "unmake" an older way and suffering comes with this. Andrea Abi-Karam uses language and the body as ways of becoming and unbecoming that lead us to new futures and possibilities. Here is the language for a new world and a new activism."–Amos Lassen

"When poetry is spoken aloud to an audience, we often call it a "reading," but when poet Andrea Abi-Karam reads it is more than mere recitation. Instead, their punk protest ethos mixes with mylar and medical staplers to create a performance event." –Full Stop

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ISBN-10: 1643621106
ISBN-13: 9781643621104
Publisher: Nightboat Books
Publish Date: 09/14/2021
Dimensions: 8.35" L, 5.43" W, 0.63" H
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