BY NAZARETH HASSAN
INTRODUCED BY TAVIA NYONG’O
WINNER OF THE INAUGURAL 3 HOLE PRESS OPEN CALL
Hassan has written a Black litany that is also a Black liturgy. Untitled. (1-5) is a chanting down of Babylon without and Babylon within. It takes the staccato collapses of composure under duress, and drums them into a crazy rhythm. This is a chant that wields laughter against comedy, but preserves the humor within the grotesque. It gradually builds sound into a wave that crashes over any remaining threadbare notions of a sovereign self.
Reading Untitled. (1-5), I felt my eyes playing across the page, even as I could feel the language in my body and hear it, too, in my ear. Hassan is taking the reins, the ruins, of this language, American English, and making new language.
What an extraordinary work. I greatly appreciated this audio and literary performance piece as existentialist musing, as self-reflection, as play with the temporal and typographical. Such a delicious, robust offering.