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Photo by Christine Cruz



Tidal Wave, Kofi Antwi’s debut collection, harbors both the blunt force and ameliorating grace its title suggests. The works herein are borne of great tectonic unrest spanning the distances between Ghana and Staten Island, The Old Testament and the Wu-Tang Clan, Vulcanian wrath and joy’s small-voiced persistence in the face of iniquity. These poems, as they deepen, dissolve into the bloodstream, leave you with a blue head rush. Kofi Antwi is a wild new magus whose invocations here forever couple the calamity and revival ever redefining the american landscape.

            — Tariq Shah, author of Whiteout  Conditions

In his debut chapbook Tidal Wave, the poet Kofi Antwi takes the reader on lyrical landscapes that move in and out of social critique, providing a “report from the inside” to reference the poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Language is the vessel, the conduit through which Antwi refuses the tried and true tropes—pushing the boundaries of poetic intent, recording the reverberation of what these social structures gives us through an inquiry that is melodic and mesmerizing. Antwi has a way of dissecting an event that resonates in a familiar cadence with lines like: “and I never thought evening/would break day, bread, oh –/Christ, and things I hate to confess/and dare to love – solitude/an abundance of green and sun/yellow leaves forewarn winter’s/rush, a breathless dance stuck in/interval – a tidal wave submerges”—and the reader is right alongside the poet to witness what humanity looks like. Ultimately, we the readers, become purveyors into the amazing mind of a poet that understands the Black tradition (from Staten Island to Ghana), and writes with an  unapologetic swag that the poets whose shoulders he stands on, got him, all day every day.

                    — Randall Horton, author of {#289-128}

In his powerful debut chapbook, Kofi Antwi’s poems rise inside of you, revealing a hidden perspective of the Island and illuminating the often overlooked voices of black and brown communities on the North Shore and the terror of racism that threatens to drown us. 

                    — Claire Jimenez, author of Staten Island Stories