Cover Image "We Believed These Truths" by Enzo Silon Surin

 

 

A LETTER OF RESIGNATION by Enzo Silon Surin

Publication Date: April 11, 2017

 

A LETTER OF RESIGNATION is a meditation on American history informed by the Black experience in the United States and neighboring island republics. This musically-infused libretto is addressed to History as a Republic, in which certain moments and individuals have been vetted and elected to convey a message that consistently denigrates more than it celebrates what it is to be American Black. Part Blues, part Jazz, part Hip-Hop, this book-length poem is a sound declaration from a tired, fed-up and "woke" generation.

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Praise for A Letter of Resignation

“In A Letter of Resignation, Enzo Silon Surin has crafted a poetic composition that laments both the historic and contemporary ‘matterless’ nature of black lives in America. It is a masterpiece. Much like James Baldwin before him, Surin’s gripping work is equal parts a catalog of black suffering and a bold declaration of independence from the tyranny of racism. In a time in the United States when injustice is a bully with a Goliath-like roar, Surin answers back with poetic stones of resistance. That act of courage is nothing to take lightly. Neither is this superbly written book.”

—Truth Thomas, author of Speak Water


“Inspired by such heroic voices as Martinique’s Aimé Césaire, Enzo Silon Surin brings his Haitian roots to bear on the landscape of America in an epic sweep of incantatory rhythms evoking the enduring spirit of the African Diaspora. The immediacy of his poetry is grounded in his sense of history, as twenty-first century black immigrants come to the U.S. to negotiate race and culture. They are the new African Americans whose histories now meet that of the first African Americans in a hybridity that goes unarticulated until we see this kind of poetry. A Letter of Resignation is a remarkable feat.”

—Afaa Michael Weaver, author of Spirit Boxing

Cover design: Enzo Silon Surin
Cover inspired by the photograph "If You Don't Use It" by Melanie Henderson

 

 

The Next Verse Poets Mixtape - Volume One: the 4X4 (2016)

featuring: Melanie Henderson, Fred Joiner, Lisa Pegram, & Enzo Silon Surin

 

 

THE NEXT VERSE POETS MIXTAPE is a poetry sampler of ethnographic significance. 4 poets represented by 4 poems each offer insight into the shared experiences of black Americans in today’s political and social climate. Poems such as “Notes to a Little Black Boy”, “Seven Ways of Looking at Black Flowers”, and “How to Nullify a Super Hero” speak loudly about negotiating the delicate promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In addition, poems like “Lamb & Vodka”, “Drum Lesson”, “Nostalgia”, and “Once, When We Were Not Gods” highlight place and its lingering presence in our beings in ways that are akin to us all. These poems, both layered and plain, coax reverence as each poet explores the intricacies of the familiar.

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cover art and design: Lila Khan

Higher Ground (2006)

Finishing Line Press.

Nominated for a Massachusetts Book Award

Higher Ground is a small yet powerful collection of poetry that speaks on many levels of racial, social, economical, and spiritual struggle, from the streets of the inner city to the halls of higher education. Written just months before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Higher Ground seeks to uplift the spirit and liberate the heart, crafted in the rich traditions of jazz, blues and hip hop.

 

Praise for Higher Ground

 

Enzo Surin is a traditionalist in the best sense. He sees the value of preserving what has sustained the black community; be it poetry, or the barbershop--and recognizes how difficult it is to preserve anything in the blighted racist ghetto world that tries to “beat out every last spiritual” in a man. James Baldwin tells us that love is difficult. Surin testifies to that, and, like Baldwin, he also testifies to love’s necessity: “I guess I’ll keep on writing/ until my lines can stop a bullet.” This is poetry that matters.
- J.D. Scrimgeour, award-winning author and poet


Enzo Surin has given us a powerful, compelling, and excellent collection in Higher Ground. A fine achievement.
-Leah Maines, editor and award-winning author


Enzo Surin writes, "I guess I'll keep on writing until my lines can stop a bullet" and we're grateful for his commitment, for his willingness in a world where "each step taken toward higher ground feels cold..." These are bold, necessary poems.
- Dorianne Laux, award-winning poet and author