Author: Eve L. Ewing
Publisher: Haymarket Books (2017)
Electric Arches is an imaginative exploration of Black girlhood and womanhood through poetry, visual art, and narrative prose.
Blending stark realism with the surreal and fantastic, Eve L. Ewing’s narrative takes us from the streets of 1990s Chicago to an unspecified future, deftly navigating the boundaries of space, time, and reality. Ewing imagines familiar figures in magical circumstances―blues legend Koko Taylor is a tall-tale hero; LeBron James travels through time and encounters his teenage self. She identifies everyday objects―hair moisturizer, a spiral notebook―as precious icons.
Her visual art is spare, playful, and poignant―a cereal box decoder ring that allows the wearer to understand what Black girls are saying; a teacher’s angry, subversive message scrawled on the chalkboard. Electric Arches invites fresh conversations about race, gender, the city, identity, and the joy and pain of growing up.
"A precision that is both beautiful and deeply uncomfortable ... [a] profound act of love for family, a city, and its children."
"While reading, I found myself continually thinking, I had no idea you could make poetry do that, followed by, thank God she has done this."
–Tracy K. Smith
"This is one of the maps to our survival."