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HANIF ABDURRAQIB reads from his new poetry collection A FORTUNE FOR YOUR DISASTER
 

A Fortune for Your Disaster (Tin House)

In his much-anticipated follow-up to The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, poet, essayist, biographer, and music critic Hanif Abdurraqib has written a book of poems about how one rebuilds oneself after a heartbreak, the kind that renders them a different version of themselves than the one they knew. It’s a book about a mother’s death, and admitting that Michael Jordan pushed off, about forgiveness, and how none of the author’s black friends wanted to listen to “Don’t Stop Believin’.” It’s about wrestling with histories, personal and shared. Abdurraqib uses touchstones from the world outside—from Marvin Gaye to Nikola Tesla to his neighbor’s dogs—to create a mirror, inside of which every angle presents a new possibility.

NOTE: As with all Skylight Books in-store events, this reading is free and open to the public (first come, first served). But because we're expecting a large crowd at this event, we'll be giving out numbered tickets to the signing line to keep things organized:

  • To get a ticket to the signing line, you must purchase a copy of A Fortune For Your Disaster here at Skylight Books. Tickets are available now. 
  • For all website orders for this event, be sure to leave a note in the Order Comments field that you would like a ticket and plan to attend the event.
  • Skylight's Friends with Benefits members get priority signing line tickets (and 20% off this and all other event books each month), so be sure to mention your membership (or join) when you order the book.

Advance Praise for A Fortune for Your Disaster

A Fortune for Your Disaster proves that, if you pay attention, Black people have defined and still define themselves for themselves amid roses and dandelions, cardinals and violets, the blues of music and police uniforms, prayer and swagger, Kehinde Wiley paintings and too many funerals, the streets of bleak cities and the fraught histories of ‘a kill or be killed / nation.’ The disaster is not us or ours but what we endure, forced and as a matter of course, whether our presence is acknowledged or not, on our terms or not. As death insists on invading our lives, we keep making more and more beauty in order to survive it. If ‘memory is a field / with endless graves’ as disasters of the past bleed relentlessly into present and thus menace the future, Hanif Abdurraqib’s poems encompass the quiet and often lonely genius of our creativity as a means to ‘imagine that anything / can become us.’ The beauty of our excellence is soundtracked by love and violence, the ‘agony threaded together by the same chorus’ of what we fight for and how we continue, visibly or secretly garlanded, heralded by our own painfully ecstatic voices ‘making [our] own ending.’ The fortune is us and it is ours. With a music as richly profound as we are, Abdurraqib makes it undeniably so.”—Khadijah Queen, author of I'm So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. He is the author of a New York Times best-selling biography on A Tribe Called Quest called Go Ahead in the Rain (University of Texas Press, February 2019), The Crown Ain't Worth Much (Button Poetry/Exploding Pinecone Press, 2016), nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, and They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us (Two Dollar Radio, 2017), named a best book of 2017 by NPR, Pitchfork, Oprah Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Slate, Esquire, GQ, and Publisher's Weekly, among others.  He is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow, a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine, and a member of the poetry collective Echo Hotel with poet/essayist Eve Ewing. Abdurraqib has two forthcoming books including a new collection of poems A Fortune For Your Disaster (Tin House, 2019) and a history of Black performance in the United States titled They Don't Dance No Mo' (Random House, 2020).

Author Photo by Andrew Cenci

Event date: 
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
A Fortune for Your Disaster Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781947793439
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - September 3rd, 2019

Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781477316481
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Texas Press - February 1st, 2019

They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us Cover Image
By Hanif Abdurraqib, Eve L. Ewing (Foreword by)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781937512651
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Two Dollar Radio - November 7th, 2017

The Crown Ain't Worth Much Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781943735044
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Button Poetry - July 19th, 2016