A PEN America Literary Award Winner
This is a radical, urgent collection of poems about Blackness, the self, and the dismantling of corrupt powers in the fight for freedom.
Jonah Mixon-Webster works at the intersections of space and the body, race and region, sexuality and class. Stereo(TYPE), his debut collection of poetry, is a reckoning and a force, a revision of our most sacred mythologies, and a work of documentary reporting from Mixon-Webster’s hometown of Flint, Michigan, where clean tap water remains an uncertainty and the aftermath of racist policies persist.
Challenging stereotypes through scenes that scatter with satire, violence, and the extreme vagaries of everyday life, Mixon-Webster invents visual/sonic forms, conceptualizes poems as transcripts and frequently asked questions, and dives into dreamscapes and modern tragedies, deconstructing the very foundations America is built on. Interrogating language and the ways we wield it as both sword and shield, Stereo(TYPE) is a one-of-a-kind, rapturous collection of vital and beautiful poems.
“‘Jonah Mixon-Webster is dead/ and weaponless’ writes the poet. What a magnificent lie tucked into this collection. Alive, sharp, blade-heavy hands are thrown at empire and self alike. Flint’s troubled water troubled here again, the poet’s gaze and rage unflinching. I love this book that hurts me so. . . . His scorching intelligence reaches for lyric and typography as weapons for real missions, real people grieved and loved and held in the belly of these poems. Don’t miss this collection. It marks the arrival of a new genius, a genius that makes me see my Black world deeper and anew.”
—Danez Smith, author of Homie
“Mixon-Webster is a master of experimentation, for his work reads across multiple genres, creating new hybrids: poem-plays, poem-myths, poem-dreams, poem-dialogues, and more. This work is alive, demanding to be reckoned with, respected, and recognized.” —Fatimah Asghar, author of If They Come for Us
“Breath-taking, bold, heart-crushing, thugged-out, elegant and extraordinary, Jonah Mixon-Webster’s unblinking work in Stereo(TYPE) is full of profound love and searing rejections. The sophistication of imagery and style, anger and truth, deeply intimate desire and macrocosmic outrage become a clarion call against passive acceptance of oppression. What a bold, necessary and stunning collection. I find myself unmoored yet more clear-eyed in our struggles reading the heartfelt daring in Jonah’s inventive poetry.” —Tracie Morris, author of Who Do With Words
“Stereo(TYPE) is an urgent cri de fe, a fiery pre-emptive strike against, and homage to, the next generation of masters and mistresses, terms that apply equally to those taking up the mantles of white supremacy and those (e.g., Kara Walker, Dawn Lundy Martin, Richard Pryor, Tisa Bryant, Douglas Kearney) making up their own suprematist/constructivist responses to the pecking orders, sidestepping self-immolation in the process. Terse, flippant, and more often right than wrong, Stereo(TYPE) is an ambidextrous skill set, multiplex declensions of that unwritten book called The Descent of Negro.” —Tyrone Williams, author of As Iz
“Jonah Mixon-Webster’s Stereo(TYPE), is a recent favorite of mine . . . One of the most inventive and necessary books I’ve ever read.” —Gabriel Gudding, Orion Magazine