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Tisa Bryant

Unexplained Presence

Unexplained Presence

  • In Tisa Bryant's Unexplained Presence, readers are spectators of mise-en-scènes in which black subjectivity has been distorted and denied within various visual narratives.

    Moving from cultural analysis to cinematic (re)creation, Bryant's prose traverses like a tracking shot through John Schlesinger's Darling, Patricia Rozema's Mansfield Park and Virginia Woolf's Orlando, giving voice to characters whom have otherwise been structurally silenced. As Pulitzer–prize winning author Margo Jefferson aptly points out in her afterword, Tisa Bryant doesn't merely write about film; she is an "auteur," a "cultural anthropologist," and a "virtuosic critic-artist." Since its original publication with Leon Works in 2007, Unexplained Presence has been foundational among poets, scholars, and film critics and with this publication, Tisa Bryant's legacy as one of the most innovative voices in contemporary literature is preserved.

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  • Tisa Bryant is the author of Unexplained Presence (Leon Works, 2007; Wave Books, 2024), a collection of hybrid essays on black presences in film, literature and visual art. She is co-editor of the cross-referenced journal of narrative possibility, The Encyclopedia Project, and co-editor, with Ernest Hardy, of War Diaries, an anthology on black gay men’s desire and survival, published in 2010 by AIDS Project Los Angeles, and a finalist for a 2010 LAMBDA literary award. Her essays have appeared in exhibition catalogs for visual artists Laylah Ali, Jaime Cortez, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Suné Woods and Cauleen Smith, and is forthcoming in the anthology Letters to the Future: Black Experimental Women Writers, and in a catalogue of site-specific art from The New School. She has done numerous presentations of cinema essays, most recently at ALOUD's "School of Prince" event at the Los Angeles Public Library, and at "Speak Nearby," a symposium of text and performance inspired by Trinh T. Minh-ha. Tisa Bryant was a commissioned writer/researcher for Radio Imagination, Clockshop’s year-long Los Angeles celebration of science fiction writer Octavia Butler, in collaboration with the Huntington Library in Pasadena, which houses the Octavia E. Butler Papers. She is working on The Curator, a novel of Black female subjectivity and imagined cinema. Residual, a meditation on grief, longing, desire and archival research, is forthcoming from Nightboat Books.

Publication month: September 2024

ISBN# 9798891060050 (5.25x7.75, 192pp, paperback)

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