The Clearing by JJJJJerome Ellis
Softcover / 10 x 13 inches / 128 pp
JJJJJerome Ellis’s The Clearing asks how stuttering, blackness, and music can be practices of refusal against hegemonic governance of time, speech, and encounter. Taking his glottal block stutter as a point of departure, Ellis figures the aporia and the block as clearing to consider how dysfluency, opacity, and refusal can open a new space for relation. Stemming from Ellis's essay "The clearing: Music, dysfluency, Blackness, and time,” published in 2020 in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies (Volume 5, Issue 2) the present volume transcribes and translates his investigation across genres and media, turning to the page to ask: How can a book bear the trace of music, and the racialized, disabled body? Can a book be not just a manuscript, but a glottoscript? Ellis opens space for thinking liberation theoretically, historically, and lyrically.
This book is released in tandem with an album co-produced by Northern Spy / NNA Tapes and The Poetry Project.
JJJJJerome Ellis is a blk disabled animal, stutterer, and artist. Through music, literature, performance, and video, he explores blkness, disabled speech, and music as forces of refusal, possibility, reparation, and healing. His diverse body of work includes contemplative soundscapes using saxophone, flute, dulcimer, electronics, and vocals; scores for plays and podcasts; albums combining spoken word with ambient and jazz textures; theatrical explorations involving live music and storytelling; and music-video-poems that seek to transfigure historical archives. JJJJJerome’s solo and collaborative work has been presented by Lincoln Center, The Poetry Project, and ISSUE Project Room (New York); MASS MoCA (North Adams, Massachusetts); REDCAT (Los Angeles); Arraymusic (Toronto); and the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), among others. He is a signed artist with NNA Tapes. His work has been covered by This American Life, Artforum, Black Enso, and Christian Science Monitor. JJJJJerome collaborates with James Harrison Monaco as James & Jerome or Jerome & James. Their recent work explores themes of border crossing and translation through music-driven narratives. They have received commissions from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Ars Nova.