For longtime friends of National Sawdust, Roger Bonair-Agard needs no introduction – he’s been a vital part of the family for years now, not least as a founder of the groundbreaking multi-disciplinary ensemble VisionIntoArt. A widely celebrated poet and writer in residence at National Sawdust, Bonair-Agard has published three full-length collections of poetry – tarnish and masquerade (Cypher Books, 2006), GULLY (Cypher Books, Peepal Tree Press, 2010), and Bury My Clothes (Haymarket Books, 2013) – and the chapbook In Case you Wake up in the morning and you’re not in Brooklyn – Chicago poems (New School Poetics, 2012).
A two-time National Poetry Slam champion, Bonair-Agard has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and is a compelling performer in a wide variety of settings. Here’s one example we’re especially fond of:
On Nov. 10, Bonair-Agard will celebrate the arrival of his newest book, Where Brooklyn At? (Willow Books/Aquarius Press, 2016), with a reading at National Sawdust presented in collaboration with The Baldwin Protocols, an arts-based intervention and reading series that he created. The new book, he explains in the foreword, is “something of a manifesto. It is certainly also — if a thing can be both — a protest song. It recognizes exodus and rails against the forces that move people before people want to move.”
Marking the book’s arrival, and with Roger’s blessing, we’re proud to share some of the poems included therein.