Books by the Author
The Future of Black: Afrofuturism,
Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry
Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race
This groundbreaking collection highlights work from poets who have written verse within this growing tradition, including Terrance Hayes, Lucille Clifton, Gill Scott-Heron, A. Van Jordan, Glenis Redmond, Tracy K. Smith, Teri Ellen Cross Davis, Joshua Bennett, Douglas Kearney, Tara Betts, Frank X Walker, Tyree Daye, and many more. In addition, the anthology features the work of artists such as John Jennings and Najee Dorsey, showcasing their interpretations of superheroes, Black comic characters, Afrofuturistic images from the African diaspora.
In this poetry anthology, curated by S.C. poets Al Black and Len Lawson, 39 poets speak to the role of race both in their 21st century worlds and the worlds they inherited from the past. Beautiful and profound, these words and the images they evoke allow readers the opportunity to assess where we are as a culture, how far we’ve come, and how far we need to go.
This collection reminds us that the grief and anxiety in the Black community are only recognition that what is far too often, too brutally and too unjustly lost is substantial, important and invaluable. Here are words that you need to read, that we all do.
-- Cortney Lamar Charleston, author of Telepathologies
Confessing conflicted love for a Southern homeplace that “romances” and “bludgeons” him, while naming the ironies and entrapments of a larger American (and human) identity, Lawson eloquently reveals a ruminating self—male, black, besieged, bewildered, yet certain, too, of its own song and grace.
-- Sharan Strange, co-founder of the Dark Room Collective
Before the Night Wakes You
Part history, part social commentary, part eulogy, I highly recommend this collection to readers trying to find their way through the complexities of race relations. This is a voice that matters.”
–Marjory Wentworth, Former Poet Laureate of South Carolina
Len Lawson is an unflinching voice, whether he is condemning the blood on the hands of his country, exhuming blood-drenched Southern Soil, or exploring the blood in his own veins, his poems stare into the face of history, grief, and death while daring us to do the work of living.”
–Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Author of Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation