The Lucky Seven Interview, with Adebe DeRango-Adem

The Lucky Seven Interview, with Adebe DeRango-Adem

Open Book: Toronto

Grace O’Connell, Senior Editor

The metaphor of striking out to explore unknown land is a particularly apt one for the act of writing, so the title Terra Incognita (Inanna Publications) fits Adebe DeRango-Adem’s new collection of poetry perfectly.

Exploring racial discourse in both contemporary and historical contexts, Terra Incognita teases out cultural memory and the impact of social and racial histories on the personal experience. Questioning what these forces mean for the creation (and imposition) of identity, Adebe’s deft verse mimics the physical and spiritual movement of those seeking identity within and beyond social and political borders.

We’re thrilled to welcome Adebe as our March 2016 writer-in-residence at Open Book!

Check out our conversation with Adebe, part of our Lucky Seven series, where she tells us about seeing eye to eye with your words, good advice from Ta-Nehisi Coates and the insurgency of a great book.

Open Book:

Tell us about your new book, Terra Incognita.

Adebe DeRango-Adem:

Titled after the Latin term for “unknown land” — a cartographical expression referring to regions that have not yet been mapped or documented — Terra Incognita is a collection of poems that explores various racial discourses and interracial crossings both buried in the grand narratives of history and the everyday experiences of being mixed-race. In my most recent book, the quest for the meaning of identity in the interracial context becomes part of the quest to unearth the territory of those who cross borders — racially, ethnically, culturally and geographically…

Read the entire interview here.

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