Cyree Jarelle Johnson's poetry collection depicts visions of the global climate crisis through the prism of the country's incarceration machine, looking at the atmospheric chaos of a dystopian future inside the social maelstrom of the prison-industrial complex. Focusing on the iconic real-life nightmare of a dissaster on New York City's Rikers Island jail complex, the work encapsulates the contemporary politics surrounding the facility today, and marks the first stage of an ongoing work-in-progress.
An excerpt of The Last Leaving
Before the leaving, there is the staying, there are days of in-betweens, sheltered in the arms of our mother’s mothers.
There are the days the water creeps closer and closer, teasing, like a dog lapping its tongue against our worn work boots.
An excerpt of “Freezing Moon” (working title)
Wisconsin may be the land of dairy and beer and football, where you can drive for uninterrupted miles through corn rows and farmhouses and pickups hitched to fishing boats, but when you reach the Menominee tribe, the trees put a stop to all that. They form the literal border of the reservation, but also a border of ideas, between the Menominee way of life and the American way that’s as tangible and dramatic as the forest itself.
When I first heard that a federal DREAM Act was rumored to be reintroduced this year, I’m not going to lie: a small part of me felt a spark of hope ignite. I’m 34 years old. I’ve been living in this country for 32 years as an undocumented person, and frankly, I’m over it. Though I’ve found ways to live my life, seize opportunities and push open doors, I can only (selfishly) imagine the kinds of doors that I could step through if only I didn’t have this albatross around my neck.
Italy may be home to some of the oldest civilizations in the world, but its endurance over millenia of cultural evolution have also pushed it the cusp of Europe's future. This nation suspended between the Old World and the New, has become the point of arrival for migrants from the Global South to the North.
"One can’t fail to see the connection between the wave of migration and the events in Europe. Granted, not every immigrant is a terrorist, but in Europe we don’t pursue the right policy on immigration.”
The children of Syria's civil war take the war with them. Some escape, barely, into hostile neighboring lands. Others remain trapped in the warzone. None are safe. The White House, meanwhile, has sought to ban refugees from Syria and several other Muslim-majority countries, "until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on,” in the words of President Trump.