Congo, seen from the heavens : A poetry chapbook by Cianga

by Oct 15, 2023Announcements

Cianga is the third winner of the Start A Riot! Chapbook Prize: In response to rapid gentrification and displacement of QTBIPOC+ literary artists in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in celebration of these communities’ revolutionary history, Foglifter Press, RADAR Productions, and Still Here San Francisco joined forces to create a chapbook prize for local emerging queer and trans Black writers, indigenous writers, and writers of color. Each year, one chapbook author is awarded publication, a $1,000 prize, and promotion, as well as a spot on RADAR’s literary tour, formerly Sister Spit. 

 

Edward Gunawan

Cianga is a Congolese poet, based in California, whose work aims to disrupt and decolonize language and knowledge. 

 

Congo, seen from the heavens is a collection of poems that journeys through not often told history from the Congolese and Black diaspora to deliver its warnings, lament, and hopes. From the perspective of a refugee, this book addresses the complex relationships between home and survival while rooting itself in the reminder that we are [our] “ancestor’s best outcome.”

 

From the heavens, our whole Earth can appear so small. Yet this view also allows us to see ourselves as infinitely precious; that in our tiny stake in the universe, we are worthy of existing in full splendor. Congo, seen through this lens, is more than a bereft, grieving country—it is a testament to survival, a land of dense yearning, prepared to fight.

 

Cover is by the author.

“This collection puts a people on its back and moves and moves… And fights! In between moments that some might call a graveyard, are reminders of triumph. The difficulty in finding joy, or a joy adjacent, can feel impossible at times, but Cianga excels beyond their years. From the text’s use of music annotations to the epigraphs that guide the reader: beautiful. It’s hard to find the words to accurately describe the space this collection occupies when this collection takes the reader soo, soo many places: To space and beyond. It is a privilege to have read these poems, and an honor to witness them enter the world.”

 

—D’mani Thomas, author of Grown Up Elementary


 

Review of kiss+release by Anthony DiPietro

     “honey, if i’m real / i been fuckin’ around,” writes Anthony DiPietro in his forthcoming collection, kiss + release, from Unsolicited Press. DiPietro’s debut is muscular, dynamic, and unafraid, mercilessly splicing together the queer joys of so-called meaningless...

Review of Missing Possibilities by Jaime Balboa

The first of these excellent stories gives the collection its name: Missing Possibilities and concerns a runaway teenage boy. The friend looking for him tells the events in flashback and it transpires that he has been assaulted by his step-father for being or acting...

Review of Phantom Advances by Mary Lynn Reed

The stories in Phantom Advances, out now from Split Lip Press by debut author Mary Lynn Reed, are often hard to take. They are filled with yearning—frequently to an uncomfortable degree, and in many cases, they do not have happy endings. But they are able to capture...

Let’s Go Let’s Go Let’s Go by Cleo Qian Reviewed

     Cleo Qian’s Let’s Go Let’s Go Let’s Go, set alternately in Japan, China, Korea and America, is reminiscent of a disco ball—no matter which way you turn it, it remains luminous, catching the light and sending shards of brilliance into the air. Forthcoming from Tin...

Interview with Allison Blevins, author of Cataloguing Pain

Your work is classified as a lyric memoir. Can you speak to this definition and what genre means to you (and as a queer person, potentially)?         I wanted to tell our story—my story, my husband’s story, our life together with our children.  At first, I...

Submit to Foglifter

Foglifter is now closed for submission, but still open for cover artwork—and we're a paid market!

Support Foglifter

Help us continue providing a platform for intersectional queer and trans writing. Donate today!

Follow foglifter
on twitter

Twitter feed is not available at the moment.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This