WORD Presents Shayla Lawz

11/05/2021 - 7:30pm

In-store celebration for the publication of speculation, n. by Shayla Lawz

This is a ticketed, in-person event. Please note that admission to this event requires either a purchase of the book OR a $5 admission voucher. Books and vouchers can be purchased online in advance or at the door on the day of the event; advance orders will be available for pickup at the store on the day of the event. The admission voucher functions like a gift card and is good toward $5 off anything in store at WORD on the day of the event only. 

Seating is limited to allow for social distancing. Masks are required throughout the entirety of the event. Your name, address and phone number will be collected for contact tracing purposes. Do not attend the event if you are feeling ill. Location and time subject to change.

Due to the recent "Key to NYC" mandates, we will be requiring proof of vaccination to attend this event. Acceptable proof includes:

Excelsior Pass

CDC Vaccination Card (or photo)

NYC Vaccination Record

An official immunization record from outside NYC or the U.S

For more information visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-vaccines-keytonyc.page


About the Book

Shayla Lawz’s debut collection, speculation, n., brings together poetry, sound, and performance to challenge our spectatorship and the reproduction of the Black body. It revolves around a central question: what does it mean—in the digital age, amidst an inundation of media—to be a witness? Calling attention to the images we see in the news and beyond, these poems explore what it means to be alive and Black when the world regularly speculates on your death. The speaker, a queer Black woman, considers how often her body is coupled with images of death and violence, resulting in difficultly moving toward life. Lawz becomes the speculator by imagining what might exist beyond these harmful structures, seeking ways to reclaim the Black psyche through music, typography, and other pronunciations of the body, where expressions of sexuality and the freedom to actively reimagine is made possible. speculation, n. contends with the real—a refracted past and present—through grief, love, and loss, and it speculates on what could be real if we open ourselves to expanded possibilities.


About the Author

Shayla Lawz is a writer and interdisciplinary artist from Jersey City, NJ. She works at the intersection of text, sound, and performance has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Jack Jones Literary Arts, The Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP), and The Digital Studies Center at Rutgers-Camden (DiSC). She holds a BA in English from Rutgers University and an MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University. Her writing and hybrid/sound work appears in McSweeney’s Quarterly, Catapult, and The Poetry Project, among others. Her debut poetry collection speculation, n. was chosen by Ilya Kaminsky for the 2020 Autumn House Poetry Prize. She lives in Brooklyn, NY where she teaches in the department of Humanities and Media Studies at Pratt Institute.

Christopher J. Greggs is a poet, designer, and recording artist living in Jersey City, NJ. He is a Cave Canem, Tin House, Callaloo, and Watering Hole Poetry Fellow and recipient of the 2020-2021 Cave Canem Poetry Coalition Fellowship. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as TriQuarterly, Winter Tangerine, Texas Review, and This Is What America Looks Like Anthology (Washington Writers' Publishing House), among others. He earned his MFA in Poetry from The University of Wisconsin-Madison. His debut EP Change Mah Name is streaming on all platforms. @mynameisgreggs @nameyourworld. His interview with actor/director Sonja Sohn can be found in the great weather for MEDIA anthology Suitcase of Chrysanthemums

speculation, n. Cover Image
ISBN: 9781637680056
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Autumn House Press - November 3rd, 2021

Poems that imagine a world beyond the prevailing public speculation on Black death.
Shayla Lawz’s debut collection, speculation, n., brings together poetry, sound, and performance to challenge our spectatorship and the reproduction of the Black body.

$5 admission voucher to this event. Your voucher functions like a gift card and can be used toward anything in store on the night of the event only.