Follow Us

AK Press

Revolution by the Book The AK Press Blog

Dismantle gets some press!

Posted on May 16th, 2014 in AK Allies, AK Distribution

Dismantle, the new collection we’re distributing from Thread Makes Blanket Press, has been getting some great press these last couple weeks. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, do yourself a favor! Contributors to the book also have a handful of events lined up—maybe in your neck of the woods—and we encourage you to check them out.

The new book is a collection of writing from the Voices of Our Nation (VONA) workshop, which is a program that supports and mentors young writers of color.

Junot Diaz, one of the founders of VONA, explains in his introduction to Dismantle (an abridged form of which was just published by The New Yorker!):

“I became a published writer and one of the first things I did with that privilege was join some comrades to help found a workshop for writers of color. The Voices of Our Nation Workshop. A kind of Cave Canum, but for all genres and all people of color. Something right out of my wildest MFA dreams, where writers of colors could gather to develop our art in a safe supportive environment. Where our ideas, critiques, concerns, our craft and, above all, our experiences would be privileged rather than marginalized; encouraged rather than ignored; discussed intelligently rather than trivialized. Where our contributions were not an adjunct to Literature but its core.

We’re on our fourteenth year now and the workshop has become a lot of things. We’re a thriving community of artists. We’re a space of learning, of personal growth and yes, at times, of healing. For many of our participants we’re a much-needed antidote to the oppressive biases of mainstream workshops.

But the workshop is deeper things too. Silent things we almost never talk about. For me it’s an attempt to do over that lousy MFA I had. To create in the present a fix to a past that can never be altered.”

Dismantle got this praise from an Afropunk reviewer, too:

“It is important that we feel as though our experiences are represented in the things that we read and Dismantle does a great job of sharing the pure, unadulterated art of writers of color and allowing their work to shine.”

Besides Diaz, contributors to the book comprise a great cast of VONA alumni and instructors including Chris Abani, Nikky Finney, Maaza Mengiste, Minal Hajratwala, Justin Torres, Cristina Garcia, Mat Johnson, Laila Lalami, Mitchell Jackson and many more.

Check out the book HERE, and also at one of these upcoming events if you can:

May 15th, NYC, La Casa Azul Bookstore, 6pm
May 17th, Philadelphia, Wooden Shoe Books, 7pm
May 30th, San Francisco, Modern Times, 8pm (Broadcast live on KPFK!)
June 8th, Seattle, Columbia Branch of Seattle Public Library, 2pm
July 26th, NYC, Bluestockings, 7pm

Details of these events (and up to date event info) can be found HERE.