Book Launch: The Math of Saint Felix by Diane Exavier
Join poet and theatermaker Diane Exavier at Cafe con Libros in Brooklyn for a reading, conversation and celebration of her stunning book, The Math of Saint Felix. See the venue’s event page for details.
About the Book
This book-length lyric is an attempt to do the math of a woman, of a family, of a country, of a diaspora. The sum of one life reveals the permutations of many: daughters, sisters, lovers. The cost of one death is uncountable. Diane Exavier’s voice has the heart-stilling gravity of a weary prophet. With The Math of Saint Felix, she has continued the work of generations. This book is ledger and legacy.
About the Author
Dispatching from the Caribbean Diaspora, Diane Exavier is a writer, theatermaker and educator working at the intersection of performance and poetry. Diane concerns herself with what she recognizes as the 4 L’s: love, loss, legacy and land. She is author of Teaches of Peaches published by TAR Chapbook Series in 2017, and her writing can be found elsewhere in such places as The Atlas Review and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. A 2021 Jerome Foundation Finalist, Diane holds an MFA in Writing for Performance from Brown University. She lives and works in Brooklyn.
Praise for The Math of Saint Felix
Lyrical, breathless, incisive, Diane Exavier’s The Math of Saint Felix marks her as a rising star in the next generation of Black poetics, showing us the ways Black femmehood carries and rebuilds language—and the world. – Legacy Russell, author of Glitch Feminism
The Math of Saint Felix is its own cosmos—a meticulously crafted world where equations are embedded in African diasporic crossings, the abyss of grief, and the coupling and decoupling of human relations. In a cadence all her own, and with her work in theatrical innovation and installation art informing her every move, Diane Exavier asks the reader to pay attention to everything—the shape and sound of a word, the paintings evoked by letters on vast blank spaces, the tragi-comedy of everyday living. The Math of Saint Felix is a work to be read slowly, tenderly, so that each of its pleasures into the mysteries of connections and crumblings can be fully absorbed. And then—it should be set on bodies willing to chant integers and fractions, leap in geometric flourishes, and multiply and divide with the vibration of live audience/witnesses. The electric patterns in this exceptional work demand our fullest engagement. – Omi Osun Joni L. Jones, author of What Noise Against the Cane
It’s hard to express just how lucky our libraries are now that The Math of Saint Felix has arrived. After all, it’s not every day that somebody hauls off and architects new language for grief. A playwright with poet’s DNA has made a book that is part elegy, part archive, part balm and final family portrait. Whole as an integer. Multi-voiced as choir. This book is choral in gesture but singular in purpose: grieving its plural mothers. Josette and Bibiane are the monuments erected at the center of the poems. But beyond memorial, Exavier elevates the text to mathematical prayer. With images and lines rendered so expertly the reader is forced into a series of liberations; A daughter lifting her chin so her makeup doesn’t smudge the clothes of other mourners. Girls with deliberate fingers counting hard change, and perhaps its most startling question: How is it decided who will hold what carries over? Through a lyric that insists on paying dues incalculable, we find our answer. Beware of a writer whose truest name is Daughter. – Angel Nafis, author of Black Girl Mansion