Of Being Dispersed
Recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award for Poetry
"I get this pinwheel relationship to wisdom & history when I read Simone White. I'm in her dream, but it's a remarkable solidly packed one informed by the quotidian rarity of for instance a prose disquisition on lotion and skin and haircare especially in winter. Like Dana Ward's, her work sends me searching. Like what part of speech is here. As I'm wondering Simone sometimes exits first, and I even feel that a real piece of her poem is adamantly not here and that is her privacy, her power & her skill so what kind of quest is it, this beautiful complex & alive work. Here's my best guess. OF BEING DISPERSED is an ur text of the fourth wave of feminism which we come to realize is ocean and women are now standing on it and amidst this clatter of voices Simone White walks."
"In Simone White's poetry the action is always multiple, palpable, sounding as thought, coming forward through this highly sensitized plane, sudden and hovering, exchanging centers, afflicted and added to by company. The continuous listening company demands—company including imaginary self, receding boundaries, the horseman on the night's street, the live, the loved, the drunk, the words, the turnstile, the endless destructive projections people force—and the rendering of that listening into irreducible depths of tone, wit, and perception constitute much of what makes OF BEING DISPERSED a masterful book. Buzzing word-love marking time beat by beat, being the ground inside and out, makes up the rest."
"Macaronic plenitude of language instantiates places and states of mind. If Edouard Glissant says that we write in the presence of all the world's languages, then we have in Simone White's OF BEING DISPERSED, an underground stream reaching the surface of the page—in lines acrobatic and limber, fluent in code switch, mood shift and modes of inquiry. I read White's volume as a poetic lens on the specificities of the diaspora and the 'dispersed,' written with baroque skepticism, feminist vision and attention to the complications of a Black yet to be storyed any/where."