The lyrics in All Black Everything shine with work and the freedom of young people. Full of menace and humor, objects of warfare and luxury consumption are transformed with Shane Book’s blade of caustic irony against the worldwide nihilism of cash payments, guns, and disease. In their syncopated, slangy, and musically enjambed flow of the digital world, a poet known for singular collections has produced his most inventive and uncompromising volume yet.
The political sublime of Caribbean poetics ebb and flood in this contagious new voice of borrowings, hijacking the trap house. This is an original collection, daring to assume the voice of the system and its death drives, having fun, mixing it up, throwing hands too. If old pirates rob I, then Shane Book has stolen back something from them. All Black Everything is a redemption song.
“All Black Everything proposes an expansive, global poetics, which is equally a poetics of Black diasporan fluency. All Black’s poems ride the crosscurrents of history and popular culture through African America, the Caribbean, West Africa, the United Kingdom, and Canada. As references whirl and constellate, All Black’s language grows dense and intricate. It gathers color and image. It acquires regional inflections, absorbs a riches of sound, and riffs on proverbial wisdom. The global reach of these poems works to collect and synthesize fragments of culture. Connections are established across time and distance. This synthesis happens as we read, and the rhythms of Black language and music become its measure.”—Kaie Kellough, author, Magnetic Equator
“Every rewind rewounds as Book’s book bars out (like breaks free). Reader, peep game— where game is play, prey, and how they stay laid down in an unsound system of robber-baron domination, post-Maria neglected Puerto Rico, (in)appropriation, and grief on grief on grief. Ergo: ‘Very hardcore business, man.’ All Black Everything left me syntaxed, thus spun as black wax under a needle; the poet on some Tender Buttons, but the buttons are on MPCs or 808s. Get it, get it. It’s ‘so good, God,’ Book leaves black ‘satchels stuffed with green.’ I pray on everything: should we meet in the lettuce aisles of ‘fully white-peopled cities,’ let us stay all Black fullness when we get there.”—Douglas Kearney, author, Sho