sx salon 41

October 2022

M. NourbeSe Philip

M. NourbeSe Philip

In this issue we are delighted to bring you an abundance of poetic riches anchored by a special discussion section on M. NourbeSe Philip, edited by Phanuel Antwi. The section brings together the reflections of four poets (Lauren K. Alleyne, David Bradford, Momtaza Mehri, and Juliane Okot Bitek) on Philip’s work and influence and closes with an essay by Philip herself. Antwi’s thoughtful and expansive introduction does everything that is essential to usher you into the section, so here I will note only my own conviction that the scholarship on Philip’s writings, extensive though it is, still has considerable ground to cover in reckoning with the aesthetic, conceptual, ethical, and political terrain that her work has cleared. It brings me great satisfaction that sx salon now has the opportunity to participate in this essential project; I extend my thanks to Phanuel Antwi for curating this remarkable conversation and to all the poets for their contributions.

The celebration of Caribbean poetry continues in our particularly rich reviews section, which begins with poets John Robert Lee and Canisia Lubrin each reviewing a recent collection by the other (Lubrin’s The Dyzgraphxst: A Poem and Lee’s Pierrot, respectively). Marta Fernández Campa reviews The Sea Needs No Ornament / El mar no necesita ornamento, a bilingual anthology of contemporary Caribbean women poets edited by Loretta Collins Klobah and Maria Grau Perejoan; she calls the volume “a rich gathering of … some of the most admired poets writing today.” In her review of dubbin poetry: the collected poems of d’bi.young anitafrika and Staceyann Chin’s Crossfire: A Litany for Survival, Natalie Wall finds both collections “in turn luxurious and sparse, humorous and loving” and “nothing less than a call to action.” Cornel Bogle’s review of David Bradford’s Dream of No One but Myself and Marvin Thompson’s Road Trip closes out the section, noting both volumes’ “disorienting incantations, carefully curated exhibitions of haunted and haunting personas, fragmented memory, and enthralling—though challenging—formal innovations.”

We hope you find this issue inspiring and restorative; stay safe.

Rachel L. Mordecai


Table of Contents



Navigating Vision, Meaning, and History”—John Robert Lee
Review of Canisia Lubrin, The Dyzgraphxst: A Poem (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2020)

An Imagination of Reassembly”—Canisia Lubrin
Review of John Robert Lee, Pierrot (Leeds: Peepal Tree, 2020)

A Powerful Gathering of Poems Illuminates These Pages”—Marta Fernández Campa
Review of Loretta Collins Klobah and Maria Grau Perejoan, eds., The Sea Needs No Ornament / El mar no necesita ornamento: A Bilingual Anthology of Contemporary Caribbean Women Poets (Leeds: Peepal Tree, 2020)

Sistahs and Solidarity—Performing Sex and Politics”—Natalie Wall
Review of Staceyann Chin, Crossfire: A Litany for Survival (Chicago: Haymarket, 2019), and d’bi.young anitafrika, dubbin poetry: the collected poems of d’bi.young anitafrika (Toronto: Spolrusie, 2019)

Poetics as Sweet as Saltfish”—Cornel Bogle
Review of David Bradford, Dream of No One but Myself (Kingston: Brick, 2021), and Marvin Thompson, Road Trip (Leeds: Peepal Tree, 2020)



“‘Disassemble the Ordered’: Reseeing and Reimagining with NourbeSe PhilipPhanuel Antwi

In Whose Language: Lyric Labor and the Black I-mage in NourbeSe Philip’s ‘Meditations on the Declension of Beauty by the Girl with the Flying Cheek-bones’”Lauren K. Alleyne

The Smoke That ThundersDavid Bradford

Six Days, One Night: On NourbeSe Philip’s Coups and CalypsosMomtaza Mehri

Dis Place: On the Second Emancipation Day in CanadaJuliane Okot Bitek

Not Feeling Too British Todaym. nourbeSe philip


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