ZOETROPE by Kevin Latimer
full length book of poetry — 6 x 9 | 89 pp.
release date: 8 . 8 . 20
cover: Angelo Maneage
digital edition available here
praise for ZOETROPE:
"In times that seem unimaginable, the imagination can become necessary to our survival—and to our understanding of death. Kevin Latimer’s debut collection of poetry, Zoetrope, continually asserts the productive potential of imaginative transformation, while exploring the complexity of fantasy in a landscape of horrific news and disheartening labor." - Zach Savich in The Kenyon Review
" Ultimately, this is the revolutionary nucleus of the book: that justice and love for Black life is a fulcrum to transform the world, to bring imagination and creation — the escapes and explorations and ascensions — into something more than tragic flight. " - R.M. Haines in Glass Poetry
"The zoetrope is the simulacrum of movement. The eye animates, the imagination sustains, and through this apparatus, the image is given life. Kevin Latimer’s Zoetrope is a vividly grieving machine, but “this is not a disaster story.” “Am I alive now?” the poems ask, knowing that “a boy in space is all the rage,” while landing means inhabiting a world where “capital punishments” abut “weird edges.” “Hellions / everywhere.” Helium too. It’s the atmosphere. Violence *is* the cosmology, Neptune says. And then: “No one / is shooting & that / is not a mistake.” It’s bad optics for the authorities. “And then the marches begin.” It’s good to be on the move. Look around: just a little darker now past the turn of days. “Little did they know in the depths.” But then, the wisest say, you read. And when you do, find poems, like these, with teeth: it’s “the only way god knows how to show himself.” -- Bill Carty, author of HUGE CLOUDY
"...when I read Kevin’s work, I’m reminded of that feeling that, I think transcends any other feeling while reading poetry — I’m reminded of what a poem can do. To be reminded of that is such a beautiful thing. It’s that feeling when you read a poet break a line mid-word, or deliver in 5 lines what you’ve tried to do in 100, or deliver in 100 lines what you thought could only be 5, or refuse punctuation, or re-use punctuation, or shift perspective, tone, dialogue, anything, I don’t care — to read poetry is to have the potential to be reminded of what a poem can do. And to read Kevin Latimer’s poetry is to always be reminded of what a poem can do." - Devin Gael Kelly on VERTIGO.
"In Latimer’s ZOETROPE, “joy & grief are dancing on every sidewalk,” and there’s a sky, pink and filled with balloons, and there’s a boy dancing into and through a world where a black boy “run[s] from the police,” where “Tamir rips dandelions from the street,” and where daisies grow in grounds drenched in death. And even so, Latimer creates a world where black boys fly & dream & live & become astronauts that “dance around the sun.” “I want to speak to all this bigness” asserts Latimer. And he does..." - Noor Hindi, author of Dear God, Dear Bones, Dear Yellow
"[ black ] boy in space is all the rage
on the evening news.
in space, your body means
your body & that’s it.
in space, i am stuffing a comet
into my mouth, look at that!"
ZOETROPE, Kevin Latimer's first collection of poetry is a frantic protest set in a grieving and illogical world. These poems and poem-plays examine what it is to be black and grieving in America. At the end: some place, no disasters exist. a world full of rituals, boats, political strife, umbrellas, & boys
Kevin Latimer is a poet and playwright. His poems can be found in Ninth Letter, jubilat, Poetry Northwest, Passages North, & elsewhere. His plays have been produced by convergence-continuum. Along with Brendan Joyce he co-organizes GRIEVELAND, a poetry project. He has won scholarships, fellowships, & awards from The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland State University, The Juniper Summer Writing Institute, & Twelve Literary Arts. He is the author of ZOETROPE (2020). He lives in Cleveland, Ohio