Electric Arches by Eve L. Ewing

Electric Arches

Electric Arches is an imaginative exploration of black girlhood and womanhood through poetry, visual art, and narrative prose. Blending stark realism with the fantastical, Ewing takes us from the streets of Chicago to an alien arrival in an unspecified future, deftly navigating boundaries of space, time, and reality with delight and flexibility.

Details Electric Arches

TitleElectric Arches
Release DateSep 12th, 2017
PublisherHaymarket Books
GenrePoetry, Nonfiction, Cultural, African American, Race

Reviews Electric Arches

  • Roxane
    I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about this book. The poems that were amazing were truly amazing, full of richness and depth about black girlhood and black womanness. The same goes for the amazing prose pieces. There was an interesting strain of afro futurism throughout that I wish was more fully explored. I stumbled with the book’s structure and arrangement because I was looking for more of a connective tissue. But oh, the spirit of this coll...
  • Vivian
    I write this review as an outsider.Poetry is often intensely personal in ways prose avoids. This is a collection of insights, remembrances, and calls to push forth. It is also an invitation for readers, to bear witness, to reflect. "What words can you offer us to help us be free black people in a world that does not love us?"A rating on technique I am not qualified to give, so the rating is strictly subjective. I did enjoy it. I appreciated being...
  • Carol
    There were moments of magic, but too few. There was no discernible theme or context/connection from one work to the next.Ewing's prose is lilting and magnificent. I loved, "What I talk about When I Talk About Black Jesus."For several poems where the lines were presented in script, they were nigh unto illegible. The font was too small to read, for those poems printed with white font in a black background. The publisher did her no favors by not hav...
  • Lucy
    This came in the mail today, I sat down to look at it and ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting. Eve Ewing's writing is spectacular, the kind of poetry that makes you hold your breath as you read without even realizing it. Please, get this book.
  • Erica
    Everything about this was everything I needed in life, but didn't know. Every word was chosen carefully, and the combination of real life and magic is sincerely beautiful. Multiple times I cried and the poem about Fullerton Ave was amazing. And to the notebook kid, which I've read before to my students, is still SO GOOD. If you love chicago, if you love being black, if you love magical realism, if you think you like poetry but aren't sure, this b...
  • Jacob
    "Speak this to yourselfuntil you know it is true."this book is magic
  •  The Black Geek
    When I first heard about Electric Arches, I looked forward to reading Ewing's book. I had been impressed by Ewing's scholarly research and academic biography. With this said, I was a bit disappointed in this book for the following reasons:1) The haphazard organization of the poems made this book difficult to read.2) The structure of the poems included awkward and abrupt line breaks .3) The collection included "filler" poems that did not connect t...
  • Ellie
    An interesting mix of poetry, prose, and art. Powerful meditations on growing up as a black female in Chicago. Ewing's poems are both extremely specific yet bloom beyond that, filled with memories of the past and the future.
  • Janani
    Here for the Chicago nostalgia alone.
  • Dionne
    I'm not sure the last time I read a book that left me feeling so...human. "Electric Arches" reminded me that being Black is to be human in a way that is deeply rooted in the community, the Earth, and the cosmos. I cried multiple times while reading this, mostly because Ewing's writing style is effortlessly moving, but also because the things she talks about are real, and important. I needed this book as much as I can honestly say you, and everyon...
  • O'Phylia
    Blending verse with magical realism and a dash of speculative fiction, Ewing's words flow beautifully in a time where ugliness abounds. Electric Arches is what every black girl needs in her arsenal to face a world that hates her virulently. If you read this book, you will feel invincible.
  • Jherane Patmore
    Electric Arches is a great combo of poetry and Afrofuturism. A lot of the poems went over my head, probably because I’m not American, but I loved the ones I liked.Would recommend for fans of Janelle Monae, Morgan Parker, and Willow Smith.
  • Glauber Ribeiro
    I LOVE this book! Except for the part where it made me cry in a crowded cafeteria. That was not cool. It should come with a warning.OK, it wasn't crowded. But it was a cafeteria. And i did cry when i read What I Talk About When I Talk About Black Jesus. And there's a lot more deadly stuff in there.Honestly, buy this book. Give it to your friends and enemies. Then maybe she'll write more.
  • Jalynn
    This collection of poems, lyric essays and so on opened up a deeper meaning to shared black experiences, especially as a black woman. It's a work of time travel for me, and disturbing the timeline to go back to a favorite poem space is totally okay here. I'm still floored to have been able to have an ARC of this book, and I hope it really touches other the way it touched me. I also hope that nonblack women find their own sense of comfort and happ...
  • Chantal Johnson
    Stunning. Masterful. Find a copy to keep forever. To teach your daughters and sons and so forth. This book will and should live forever.
  • Lata
    3.5 stars.
  • Leah Rachel
    Electric Arches by Eve L. Ewing is absolutely stunning. With a dash of the tale of an alien invasion, Ewing takes us through black girlhood and womanhood, in a variety of prose, poetic, and artistic styles, all of which are gorgeous.Ewing’s book is divided into three sections: ‘true stories,’ ‘oil and water,’ and ‘letters from the flatlands.’ Her poems, stories, and works took my breath away. Her words flow easily from page to page,...
  • Cynthia
    Electric Arches is a sweet love letter to black girlhood and the Chicago of Ewing's youth. The Chicago that Ewing describes is in many ways foreign to me, but her writing was often so evocative I felt like I could see, touch, and hear her Logan Square at night, her bus ride down Fullerton Avenue, or her Saturday afternoon at the salon. In addition, many of the pieces about her family members really shined, and I would love to read more essays fro...
  • Kurt Ostrow
    Loved the Afro-futurist first poem about Black revolutionaries dropping from the moon. Loved (and will teach!) the re-tellings poems with hand-written magical endings. Really liked this collection — very accessible and powerful and beautiful.
  • Jan Priddy
    The entire book is put together by someone having some fun with page design. Fonts shift, text might be Times or script or white on black. It has some really musical poems and some brief stories in two versions, which I particularly appreciated. I wanted more of the story and then the truth of the story (as I thought of them). I confess I bought this book for the cover and a review I read on line. I found a few poems that felt like prose cut into...
  • Lylah
    This was a great collection of poems in an era of poems with random line breaks and shallow meaning. I loved the sci-fi elements and some of the turns of phrase made me gasp with how clever they were, literally changing how I view certain concepts. I enjoyed the celebration of blackness and black womanhood, only I wish that perhaps the poems fit together more coherently.
  • Kathrina
    Knock me out. This is poetry that can change the world, because it isn't trying to. It's only showing us a part of the world we too often ignore or discredit. But with this stunning writing you can't not take notice.
  • Bobbieshiann
    ...... still processing. not what i expected.
  • cmcusack
    I loved this book. I thought her writing was magical. I kept thinking "this one is my favorite" until I turned the next page and discovered another one that spoke to me or expressed something just so. I loved the last poem addressed to youth in prison. I'm gonna donate copies of this collection to the prisons in Wisconsin. Not all, but some, of my clients are readers. I'd like them to read that last poem, regardless of their age. What a way with ...
  • Carolyn
    This book is so good I kept right on reading it at a bus stop in 20 degrees without mittens while the chill wind snapped the pages back against my numb fingers. I know I am just a spectator here and my inherent privilege says this was not written for me. But there are those places in these pieces that speak so deeply to me nonetheless. Here to learn and bear witness and do better.
  • Adam Morgan
    This might sound like hyperbole, but I'm being 100% honest when I say: 'Electric Arches' will go down as one of the best and most iconic poetry books about Chicago...ever. You have never seen Chicago this way before, and regardless of where you live, it'll change your perspective. Can't recommend enough.
  • K
    I started Electric Arches almost a month ago. I read like 75% of it in one sitting, but then I started reading other books, and didn't pick it up again until today. I gave it four stars because it was so nice and refreshing to read a book that I felt myself in. Not just in Blackness, but in politics and the way that Eve views the world. I've been following her on twitter for several years, and it was so great to see this side of her. It didn't ge...
  • Michelle
    I loved the use of language, It's very Chicago centered. I loved the use of place and time. I loved "Origin Story", which likened her parents' love to a comic book, "Ode to Luster's Pink Oil", "Shea Butter Manifesto", and "appletree." Amazing and beautiful poems. I loved the poems/stories that start with a retelling of a racist event and end with a handwritten speculative fiction reframing.Also, "The Device" is a great little speculative/science ...
  • KWinks
    I think I found this title through Samantha Irby's Insta. Electric Arches is a very personal collection of poems that explore Eve L. Ewing's life and, partly, a love song to Chicago. I feel privileged to have had a peek into Ewing's world, and partly ashamed because I also felt I did not have permission to be there. Some of the poems were over my head, I'm not going to lie. Some I read multiple times and still just saw a string of words and no me...