Sinister Wisdom 133: Blue Heat

"What are the thermodynamics of Blue Heat? Blue is the hottest part of the flame. Blue Heat is direct kinship with the blues technologies as poetics of Black survival. It is about transforming what we have into what we didn’t know we needed. These poems are more than what they will teach you on one reading. They will teach you again and again."
—Alexis Pauline Gumbs, from the Introduction to Blue Heat

In 1984, Alexis De Veaux independently published and distributed Blue Heat. Mainstream publishing’s interest in work by radical Black women was waning and De Veaux knew that she could reach women with the poems in Blue Heat directly—and she knew they needed these poems.

Forty years later, Blue Heat is a Sapphic Classic from Sinister Wisdom with a stunning new introduction and guiding exercises for engaging the poems by Alexis Pauline Gumbs. In Blue Heat, De Veaux insists on survival and encourages risk-taking. In these poems, liberation is necessary, and there is only one means to achieve it: by creating a spark. Blue Heat brings intensity akin to the deepest, hottest part of a flame. Like its namesake, this poetry collection is flammable, igniting courage in its readers, achieving De Veaux’s goal of kindling a spirit of “power, joy and change” in Black feminist communities.

Alexis De Veaux is a Black queer feminist independent scholar whose work appears in numerous anthologies and publications and has fifty years in publishing. The author of eight books to date, including her most recent, JesusDevil, The Parables (AK Press, 2023), De Veaux is internationally known for work in multiple genres.

Order Sinister Wisdom 133: Blue Heat today! $18.95 plus shipping and handling.

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Press Kit for Blue Heat.

"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

“And the metaphorical lenses we choose are crucial, having the power to magnify, create better focus, and correct our vision.”
― Charlene Carruthers

"Your silence will not protect you."

Audre Lorde

“It’s revolutionary to connect with love”
— Tourmaline

"Gender is the poetry each of us makes out of the language we are taught."

― Leslie Feinberg

“The problem with the use of language of Revolution without praxis is that it promises to change everything while keeping everything the same. “
— Leila Raven