Presented in partnership with the Arts + Literature Laboratory, Jameka Williams' poetry moves beyond a biting indictment of American popular culture. Williams captures the reader’s gaze and stares right back: “I’m sorry, America, but I’m rich in baby oil & paperback novels only these days. So finish paying for me with what is mint. No conditions.” In this stunning debut collection, Williams offers a deeply personal investigation into how Americans (herself included) have been duped, buying into classism, sexism, and racist beauty ideals, while sacrificing the freedom of self-love and self-determination. With whip-fast profanity and fiery humor, she charts a tender, exalting, and vibrant path to freedom from mirrors, stages, and screens.
Fiercely feminist, Black, American, and powerful, Williams speaks for a generation of obsessive social media influencers and consumers, revealing the complex ways in which we are all actors, witnesses, and victims in our public and private performances. Though we may be permanent residents of this soulless cultural landscape, this stunning collection refuses to let it define us.