Dub: Finding Ceremony
Author: Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Publisher: Duke University Press (2020)
The concluding volume in a poetic trilogy, Alexis Pauline Gumbs's Dub: Finding Ceremony takes inspiration from theorist Sylvia Wynter, dub poetry, and ocean life to offer a catalog of possible methods for remembering, healing, listening, and living otherwise. In these prose poems, Gumbs channels the voices of her ancestors, including whales, coral, and oceanic bacteria, to tell stories of diaspora, indigeneity, migration, blackness, genius, mothering, grief, and harm. Tracing the origins of colonialism, genocide, and slavery as they converge in Black feminist practice, Gumbs explores the potential for the poetic and narrative undoing of the knowledge that underpins the concept of Western humanity. Throughout, she reminds us that dominant modes of being human and the oppression those modes create can be challenged, and that it is possible to make ourselves and our planet anew.
"Grounded in oríkì-like references to Sylvia Wynter’s oeuvre, Dub simultaneously contracts and expands to create a new form of proprioception, which allows us as a species, phantomed by the corrosive and lacerating actions of history, to locate ourselves in relation to other species, as well as within the time-space continuum of the yet to be, the now and the 'past.' Part prayer, oration, exhortation, commentary and story, Dub amplifies ancestral voices to become mythopoesis in the making."
–M. NourbeSe Philip
"Breath is an important theme in Dub. As is gratitude in the face of environmental decline. Because our ancestors navigated so intimately through change, Gumbs sets out to prove, so can we. . . . [An] exquisitely rendered love letter. . . ."
"Offering a sweeping, thoughtful, and exquisite meditation on Sylvia Wynter's work, Alexis Pauline Gumbs's poetic engagement represents a new and unique way of encountering and paying homage to Black feminist theory and Black feminist theorists. A beautiful and graceful text, Dub will inspire readers to return to and to rethink Wynter's work and her place within African Diaspora studies, Caribbean studies, and Black feminist studies."
–Lisa B. Thompson