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WHAT DO YOU KNOW? is a new stunning picture book by sisters Aracelis Girmay and Ariana Fields (July 2021, Enchanted Lion Books)


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https://enchantedlion.com/all-books/what-do-you-know             

 

What Do You Know?

      Written by Aracelis Girmay & Ariana Fields

         Illustrated by Ariana Fields

  To publish July 13, 2021 • $17.95 • 56p • ISBN 978-1-59270-321-0

 

What Do You Know?takes its form from lines of the Sharon Olds poem "Looking at Them Asleep." Here,  "love" is a subject, an asker of questions, who addresses a range of characters, some of them places and some of them people and ideas. And the characters speak back, weaving together a polyvocal and many-placed text that attempts to think about a range of places, "knowledges," and perspectives. Sisters and co-authors Aracelis Girmay and Ariana Fields wanted to create a manuscript that would model play, imagining, and surprise within a formal constraint. 

 

 In Ariana's images, the humans are not necessarily the center of the world, though they are depicted here with nuance, emotion, strangeness, and care. Part of what is so wonderful about this book is that there is a large and more-than-human world pulsing on every page. This approach represents a worldview and through Fields’ images the characters (goats, farmers, sailor, whale, land...) become dynamic, different, and something like kin––all part of a world, an earth, together.

  

Aracelis Girmay is the mother of two young children and the auntie of a small few others. She is also the author of the poetry collections the black maria, Kingdom Animalia, and Teeth, as well as a book of collages entitled changing, changing, her first and only other picture book, published in 2005. For the past 20 years, she has taught reading and writing workshops in a variety of settings, including cultural centers, after school programs, elementary and high schools, and colleges. For several years she taught in Hampshire College’s School for Interdisciplinary Arts and is now the Assistant Chair of the Writing Program at Pratt. For her work she has received the Whiting Award, the Isabella Gardner Award, and the GLCA New Writers Award. Her books have also been named finalists for the Connecticut Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Hurston/Wright Award, and the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Most recently, Girmay’s poetry and essays have been published in The Paris Review,Granta, Black Renaissance Noire, and PEN America, among other places. Girmay recently edited How to Carry Water: Selected Poems of Lucille Cliftonand is editing an anthology by writers of color on experiences of/in relation to pregnancy. She is on the editorial board of the African Poetry Book Fund. 

 

 Ariana Fields is a graduate of SFAI (printmaking) and the City College Masters of Landscape Architecture program. She is interested in visual modes of storytelling, representations of movement, and works on paper (from drawings and printmaking to mapping and design). Ariana is currently working on garden design projects in Brooklyn and New York State. She is interested in root systems and the relationships between fungi and plants, and thinks of her work in spatial design as an extended study of adaptations that organisms and bodies make in our ever-changing environments. When she’s not working on projects, she spends a lot of her time skating, surfing and climbing, and is interested in the movements inspired by those practices. 

 

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