Forum From the Archives: In 'Stereo(TYPE),' poet Jonah Mixon-Webster Analyzes Identity and His Hometown Flint, Michigan

KQED's Forum

Dec 29 2021 • 20 mins

"It is 2020 and the City of Flint Says, / 'Don't boil the water' / And I refuse to drink a single drop / from any tap or bottle now. I've stopped / bathing completely, waiting for rain to slick / my skin back on. So begins Jonah Mixon-Webster's poem "Incubation," featured in his debut poetry collection, Stereo(TYPE). Initially published by Ahsahta Press in 2018 and re-published by Knopf Doubleday this month, "Stereo(TYPE)" describes Mixon-Webster's experiences and traumas endured as a Black queer man and criticizes the governmental neglect and treatment of his hometown, Flint, Michigan. In poems that vary in form and use words that overlap and span pages, balancing harshness with tenderness, Mixon-Webster's poetry collection explores what it means to tell one's story - and the story of one's community - through experiments in language.