The Second Stop Is Jupiter (Paperback)
A calling into being of a surrealist African American poetic mythology.
What if N. K. Jemisin or Ishmael Reed wrote Frankenstein, or if Kara Walker originally illustrated the works of the Brothers Grimm? What if, instead of modern superhero figures, the Black Panther characters as depicted by Ta-Nehisi Coates were figures of mythology, taught alongside the Greco-Roman pantheon? Divided into three sections--"I Don't Know Who Needs To Hear This But," "The Girl With The Frantz Fanon Tattoo," and "The Underground Rubaiyat"--this collection of mythological, Afrofuturist, and surrealist poems addresses a literary void resulting from the structural violence of slavery and segregation. This collection invites readers to interrogate the motifs of canonical poetics alongside historical and contemporary interactions real and imagined.
Drawing inspiration from African and Diasporic narratives, these poems evoke the surrealism of African author Amos Tutuola as much as they do English author Lewis Carroll. The Second Stop is Jupiter is a deep engagement with the cultural narrative, populated with Black hero figures who will fuel the imagination. upfromsumdirt invites us to ask, what if, with characters and poetic motifs rooted in existing narratives of Black life and fable. Titles like "The Death of Olympia" and "The Three Sulas" set the tone for this collection to manifest a Pan-Africanist poetics entwined with themes of Classical Romanticism.
About the Author
upfromsumdirt, Ron Davis, is an autodidactic poet and award-winning visual artist based in Lexington, Kentucky. He is the author of two previous poetry collections, Deifying a Total Darkness and To Emit Teal, and is currently storyboarding a graphic novel based on his poetry. He has also published works in anthologies and periodicals including The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry; Anthology of Appalachian Writers; Hayden's Ferry Review; and more. He received the Kentucky Al Smith Award in Art in 2010 and the Southeastern Libraries Association Award for Excellence in Original Artwork in 2022. His artwork is featured in the NAACP Image Award-winning poetry collection, Perfect Black by Crystal Wilkinson and A is for Affrilachia by Frank X Walker. He was inducted as a member into the Affrilachian Poets in 2022.