AMERICAN LETTERS: works on paper
Author: giovanni singleton
Publisher: Canarium Books (2018)
Inspired by African American spirit writing, sacred sound, Tibetan meditation practice, and the study of Japanese language and calligraphy, AMERICAN LETTERS: works on paper is giovanni singleton's followup to ASCENSION.
"AMERICAN LETTERS is far from subtle in its critique of the systems at work in American catalogues. The diminishing letter I in her penultimate chapter, “eye of the be/holder (Take 2),” while it may be interpreted in various ways, surely represents those oppressed, erased and excluded from history and current dialogues. singleton’s speaker reshapes language to work against these powers that reduce her, name her: “I quit the uppercase G to reclaim my own authority. // Make a different G, a Vimala G composed from two sized C’s.” And it urges: “Standup the / stereotype. Watermelon out with the bathwater. Let us rejoice and be clean. Clean. / Clear. Unambiguous but not unanimous.” singleton’s book requires that we listen long enough, we retrain our ear to hear, our eye to see, so we might (re)examine our violent histories, our violent present, and question our imposed placement and identity."