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Casual Conversation by Renia White
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Casual Conversation by Renia White


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A Blessing the Boats Selection with a Foreword by Aracelis Girmay, Renia White’s debut poetry collection pushes against state-sanctioned authority and societal thought while ruminating on Black joy.

Renia White’s debut poetry collection strikes up a conversation, considering what’s being said, what isn’t, and where it all come from. From her vantage point of Black womanhood, White probes the norms and mores of everyday interactions. In observations, insights, and snippets of speech, these poems look to the unspoken thoughts behind our banter, questioning the authority of not only the rule of law but also of our small talk itself—the concepts we have accepted and integrated without pause.

Casual Conversation imagines a new way of knowing, a way that encourages us to think through how we structure and stratify ourselves, inviting something strange and other to spill out. White challenges us to question whether there is anything casual about this life, even as she invites us to consider other logics and to think alongside each other. This book gives space to hold what we fear out of formality: consequence, embarrassment, anger. It plays, it tarries, it disrupts. It pulls apart what seems sound in an effort to see: what did we make here? How’s it going?