David Marriott's Duppies, Forthcoming in 2019

December 11, 2018


David Marriott's Duppies, Forthcoming in 2019 from Commune Editions


January 8, 2019

In Duppies, D.S. Marriott writes a poetry of grime, the London street music, one that is “late shift, zero hour.” Mixing lyric tonality with grime’s aggression, grit, and speed, this is a coruscating study of the racial politics of austerity. And it is an erudite lyric, one attentive to the continuing legacies of slavery, how this history shapes and defines everything from the law to the understanding of who or what is human. 

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Marriott’s ghosts, or duppies, are powerful illustrations of institutional violence resulting from the legacy of empire and slavery. He invokes grime music, Afrofuturism, Afro‑Pessimism and police brutality, as well as desire, freedom, negation and accountability through the entreaties of shadow-selves wishing to be heard. 
 — The Guardian, Best Book of 2018 in Poetry

Like Aimé Césaire, whom he sees as a revolutionary black modernist who delegitimized modernism’s imitative structure of readymade experimentation, Marriott’s work resists categorization.
 — Sandeep Parmar, 

Marriott’s poems broker a profound engagement with the violence involved in the jurisdiction of love as well as the jurisdiction of colonialism… These poems are something else.  
John Wilkinson

From Duppies:

Grime is late shift, zero hour, it makes a beeline for bare life, but what it lays bare leaves everyone cold. Grime is the thread that links afro-pessimism to afro-futurism, but its role proceeds without ties or duplicity.

Grime is post-work and post-brexit, its riddims respond to the necessity in which I exist – see these wheels, they may be brand spanking new, but under the bonnet there is fever and anguish.

Grime is last orders, a mugging made up by thefts, an evocation stripped down to the bone. It expels pagans with a fierce rigour and method in which only the coldest excel. 

Grime is disjunctive, a useless meditation on parataxis; think of the absolute having to earn its living, but finishing up with hardly anything at all.

Grime is payback for n-words and asboes. It has dominion but no license for each dissolve is charged with browns and the blacks. It makes music from a manor that is not-me, but what it gives has neither use-value nor beauty. 

Grime is a medium of the unknown, it refuses everything but possibility: its violence is one without immunity, but its real is dispossession, and is inconsolable without knowing it. Black-owned the skin, the strut, the churches, and emcees. 

D. S. Marriott is originally from the UK, but now lives in Oakland, California. His poetry is often associated with the Cambridge school of poetry. And as a scholar, he has been a leading theorist of afro-pessimism. Recent books of poetry include: Hoodoo Voodoo(Shearsman, 2008) and In Neuter (Equipage, 2012). Whither Fanon? Studies in the Blackness of Being, is recently out from Stanford University.   

Duppies by D. S. Marriott 
will be published as a paperback original by Commune Editions & AK Press
Janaury 8, 2019 
$18.00 | 9781934639269 | 120 pages

to order from Commune Editions click here 
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“While the editors hope the intermingling between poet and anticapitalist communities will reignite political poetry, their movement, if it can be called that, is nascent. But it’s still happening.” — Publisher’s Weekly 
“What these poets are doing, what is to be done, with poetry: Some barking. The cops are at the door, and they’ve been there for a while.” — Huck Magazine 

“Poetry cannot be bodies in the street or bodies setting fires or bodies smashing windows or bodies standing in between cops and other bodies. Poetry can help us with the grasping of these things, but the rest is up to us. I don’t think that’s cynical or defeatist, I think it’s true. And it’s that truth that the poets of Commune Editions are at pains to express in all its urgency, because at this point we have to destroy everything or let it destroy us.” — Tarpaulin Sky 

Commune Editions began with Bay Area friendships formed in struggle: the occupations in resistance to UC tuition hikes in 2009-11; the anti-police uprisings after the shooting of Oscar Grant that continued with the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner; and the local version of Occupy, referred to by some as the Oakland Commune. In these moments, the people committed to poetry and the people committed to militant political antagonism came to be more and more entangled, turned out to be the same people. This felt transformative to us, strange and beautiful. A provisionally new strain of poetry has begun to emerge from this entanglement with communist and anarchist organizing, theorizing, and struggle.

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