Charis welcomes Daniel B. Summerhill in conversation with W.J. Lofton for a celebration of Mausoleum of Flowers, a poetry collection that celebrates Black culture, creativity, and memory. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.
From Kendrick to Kanye, to a Sunday in Oakland with Frank Ocean’s falsetto in the foreground, Mausoleum of Flowers is still life set against the backdrop of demise. Daniel Summerhill’s sophomore collection grabs fate by the throat and confronts it. What does it mean to continue living when your friends are dying beside you? This collection melds an exploration of spirituality and rebellion with Black tradition. Summerhill’s poems invite the reader near in order to self-excavate and explore tones of loss, love, and light.
Daniel B. Summerhill is Assistant Professor of Poetry/Social Action and Composition Studies at California State University - Monterey Bay. He has performed in over thirty states, the UK, and was invited by the U.S. Embassy to guest lecture and perform in South Africa. Daniel has earned a Sharon Olds fellowship as well as a fellowship from the Watering Hole. His poetry is published in Columbia Journal, The Academy of American Poetry, Rust & Moth, Button Poetry, Sims Library of Poetry, The Hellebore, among other journals. His work has earned him two Pushcart nominations as well as a Best of the Net nomination. His debut collection is Divine, Divine, Divine published by Nomadic Press. His sophomore collection, Mausoleum of Flowers was published by CavanKerry Press in April 2022. Summerhill holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the Solstice Low-Residency MFA program of Boston College. Daniel is the inaugural poet Laureate of Monterey County.
W.J. Lofton is a Black, Queer, Southern, American poet, director, and songwriter. He is the author of A Garden for Black Boys Between the Stages of Soil and Stardust. Lofton’s work observes, engages, and celebrates both the erotic and the agape of the Black body and the Black divine. In 2021, he was awarded the LEAP grant by Peabody Award-winning director Ava Duvernay and was named a 2022 Poet in Residence at 100 West in Corsicana, Texas. W.J. Lofton’s works of poetry, essay, and film have been featured widely including TIME Magazine, Scalawag Magazine, Meniscus Literary Journal, Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, Connotation Press, Sundance, NPR, Al Jazeera, Urbanworld Film Festival, and the Black Harvest Film Festival. He loves cast-iron skillet cornbread. He is Chicago-born but Alabama-raised. He calls Atlanta, GA home.
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A poetry collection that celebrates Black culture, creativity, and memory.
From Kendrick to Kanye, to a Sunday in Oakland with Frank Ocean’s falsetto in the foreground, Mausoleum of Flowers is still life set against the backdrop of demise. Daniel Summerhill’s sophomore collection grabs fate by the throat and confronts it.
Poetry. African & African American Studies. California Interest. DIVINE, DIVINE, DIVINE is an exploration of the divine and the deviant. A consideration of the Black tongue as a home. Life and death through the lense of language. This collection is an ode to the experiences that make us whole and an acknowledgment of those things that fracture us.