ANALOG POET BLUES captures the journey of a poet searching for romance and seeking justice in a world transformed from the analog to the digital age. This dazzling collection ventures beyond the mainstream at intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and religion. These poems deftly reveal how an outsider becomes even stranger in an ever-evolving computer dominated landscape. Come take a trip around this wondrous electronically connected planet.
Poetry. African & African American Studies. Women’s Studies.
“In ANALOG POET BLUES, poet, physician, and accomplished flautist Yeva Johnson turns her unique gaze to the activities of daily life and all of its institutions, ideas, and relationships as she navigates the currents of her world. Yeva’s voice is broadly accessible, even as it exposes the complexities of our current moment. This collection uses the poet’s everyday activities, passions, and exasperations as an on-ramp of sorts into a contemplation of the power relations and historical legacies that produce the conditions that shape all of our lives. In this way, her work is reminiscent of the late Lucille Clifton’s poems. Both writers invite readers to look closely and deeply into their lives as Black women, and then more broadly into the ways that those lives are reflections of, meditations on, and challenges to established systems of power and belief, often at the place where history and memory collide.”
—Ajuan Mance, author of 1001 Black Men
“The poems of ANALOG POET BLUES are lessons in survival for a poet who was born primed for the hard truths that accompany being black, woman, queer, and Jewish. These are poems of declaration that celebrate poetry as a transformative tool of change. Gazing through the ‘magic box’ of this digital age, Johnson reaches across the airwaves to remind us of what it means to claim self. Influenced by Audre Lorde and June Jordan, among others, these poems are rich, sexy, humorous, and smart. Her voice is ‘full of color.’”
—Amber Flora Thomas, author of Eye of Water: Poems
“Yeva Johnson invites us to a time beyond the harsh dominion of The Digital and takes us on a journey (as many our ancestors came) by way of the ocean. Through choppy seas —at times fearful, at times whistling and remembering our lovers’ touch, this queer boat trips over the waves and Yeva is with you the whole ride. She does not try to pacify the rolling sea, but instead guides us through our love, tears, loss, and yearning to find that this sea, this wet book, has space for all of us. We are beating with, against, and something-else-entirely the rhythm of change that courses through this book, its tide both gentle and violent. With ANALOG POET BLUES, we arrive lost and we leave lost, but with Yeva, 'the seconds feel like tasty stars.' Get this book. Swim with us.”
—danny ryu, sad queer poet
“Yeva Johnson’s new collection of poetry reflects a lyrical spirit encountering the discreet moments that measure our lives. How culture changes around her, what worlds meet inside her, how she lives her humanism for others —this is the landscape of her poems; a terrain which welcomes us with sincerity and a wink.” —Jewelle Gomez, author of Still Water
“For those searching and ‘full of dreams,’ ANALOG POET BLUES is a quest for and into self in an ever-evolving world. Yeva Johnson eloquently guides us along this analog path through dirt and flowers and undulating waters and the need for connection in a consistently less and less, or at least differently, connected world. Let Johnson sing to you of what drives individual evolution and how these newer versions of ourselves are brought to others, to ancestors, to the world, to the universe. Let her sing to you through this beautiful, tender, and heartfelt collection. You might just sing back.”
—Katie Aliféris, author of fool[ishly optimistic]
“I love this collection of poems: its range of forms, its intimate voice and conversational tone and I love how in these human forms it is deeply committed to the mystery of spiritual encounter. ‘Love itself,’ one poem says, ‘is all the magic we need.’"
—Kazim Ali, author of The Voice of Sheila Chandra
“If change is indeed our universe’s only constant, ANALOG POET BLUES demands an interrogation of that transition that is equally unwavering. While we often focus on the consequences of a change —what comes after— Yeva urgently, tenderly, implores us to explore what comes in the in-between. What is lost in translation during periods of transition? Who is accounted for when changes are orchestrated by large instruments of power? How does love persist during change? How does racism, or misogyny, or transphobia, or ageism mutate and persist during eras of supposed progress? APB is tender to those who deserve it and unflinching and urgent to those who haven’t earned the benefit of softness. The world will keep changing as long as it keeps spinning; fortunately, we will have works like ANALOG POET BLUES to buoy ourselves to our humanity.”
—miles e. Johnson
Yeva Johnson is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, writer, and musician whose work appears or is forthcoming in Bellingham Review, Obsidian, sin cesar, Sinister Wisdom, Yemassee, and elsewhere. Johnson explores interlocking caste systems and possibilities for human co-existence in our biosphere. She co-edited Joan Nestle's book A STURDY YES OF A PEOPLE, a Sinister Wisdom Sapphic Classic (2022). Yeva is a past Show Us Your Spines Artist-in-Residence (RADAR Productions/San Francisco Public Library), Marion Weber Healing Arts Fellow at Mesa Refuge, and Rooted & Written Fellow of The Writers Grotto. She is a Brown Handler Writer's Resident, and poet in QTPOC4SHO, a San Francisco Bay Area artists' collective. Yeva's debut chapbook, ANALOG POET BLUES, was published in 2023.