Live from the Afrikan Resistance! is the first collection of spoken word poetry by Halifax’s fifth Poet Laureate, El Jones. These poems speak of community and struggle. They are grounded in the political culture of African Nova Scotia and inherit the styles and substances of hip- hop, dub and calypso’s political commentary. They engage historical themes and figures and analyze contemporary issues — racism, environmental racism, poverty and, violence — as well as confront the realities of life as a Black woman. The voice is urgent, uncompromising and passionate in its advocacy and demands. One of Canada’s most controversial spoken word artists, El Jones writes to educate, to move communities to action and to demonstrate the possibilities of resistance and empowerment. Gathered from seven years of performances, these poems represent the tradition of the prophetic voice in Black Nova Scotia.
About the author
El Jones is a poet, journalist, professor and activist living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She teaches at Mount Saint Vincent University, where she was named the 15th Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies in 2017. She was Halifax’s Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015. She is the author of Live from the Afrikan Resistance!, a collection of poems about resisting white colonialism. Her work focuses on social justice issues, such as feminism, prison abolition, anti-racism and decolonization. Since 2016, she has co-hosted a radio show called Black Power Hour on CKDU-FM where listeners from prisons call in to rap and read their poetry, providing a voice to people who rarely get a wide audience.
“Deeply honouring and explosively brilliant, El Jones is a fearless young poet creatively in the ‘zone’ joining the ranks of George Elliott Clarke, Maxine Thymes and Rocky Jones. El tackles old and new poetic territory with street smarts, crucial historical touchstones, fresh new hope, and a caring revolutionary fervor. Catch El Jones performing these poems and be stilled in astonishment. Read her on the page and experience what it’s like to be moved by unbounded commitment to the lives of Black people.”
“El Jones is a griot of the first order. Her beautiful, brilliant, and bold poems tell us that she is both wordmistress and swordmistress.”