Southern Migrant Mixtape by Vernon Keeve III

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Southern Migrant Mixtape by Vernon Keeve III


Southern Migrant Mixtape relays the experiences and observations of a black, queer man from Virginia who thought he was leaving racism and sexual intolerance behind in the regions where he initially experienced them. Plunge heart first into this emotive journey of growth, transformation of pain into armor, and the lessons that can be learned when one is true to themselves.

What people have to say

"Trees become wood / then thump against / concrete—damming / the river altogether. Vividly, from a post-American century, Vernon Keeve III—a post-millennial, book-loving African American—shares, reflects, and reports on life lived at global split-levels. Southern Virginia-born, gay, comfortably reared, poet-storyteller Keeve III takes unblinking looks at how the damage and ravages of so-called white privilege split and splinter the world. Upbringing, family, education, world-outlook, environment, spirituality—all of it trembles here on edge. Mamie Till said you could smell her / son’s decomposing body from miles / away in uninterrupted heat of a 1955 / Indian Summer when she forced the / America to open his casket, and see what it had done. // The decomposition of Emmett / is still happening."

Al Young, California's Poet Laureate Emeritus


"Vernon Keeve III’s Southern Migrant Mixtape is a beautiful and historic analog move of memory as poems and prose, to record. On his tracks, Keeve soulfully, sensually and vulnerably lays down his journey. The storysongs are full of queer ripening and racial awakening, mother tongue and father wit—all at play with the specificity of the colors, sounds, textures, smells and monuments of the country. This collection crackles with blackness, queerness, spirit, grit, trauma, surrender, and joy and the distortions of the south. You are left knowing that what is shared, curated by the writer’s heart, is dedicated to you and your story."

Marvin K. White, author of four collections of poetry, including Our Name Be Witness and last rights


"Vernon Keeve III's poems are grounded in the landscape and its culture, but he realizes that he has to uproot himself so that he can be himself, and to levitate above the quagmire of fear, racism, and homophobia. Written with loving compassion, these brave poems do not spare the truth nor do they point fingers; they sprout new leaves and open to the sun."

Opal Palmer Adisa, author of 4-Headed Woman


"Vernon Keeve III crafted a collection that is artisanal, bold, and a worthy of the cross-country road trip on which it inevitably takes you. Southern Migrant Mixtape is equal parts paean and pain. Vernon does not glamorize the blood shed for this collection to exist, instead he immortalizes his ancestors and reunites them with current and future generations. Mixtape takes on America’s greatest hits—negro spirituals, Baldwin, racism, Dubois, swimming, misogynoir, and The Color Purple—then remixes, interpolates, and samples them into newer truths that cannot be unheard. Brace yourself, Southern Migrant Mixtape will [re]introduce you to [your] spirit."

Roberto F. Santiago, author of Angel Park


"Southern Migrant Mixtape surges with color, sound, and emotion. Keeve's juxtaposition of historical and present-day violence creates empathy and a deeper understanding of love and the power of the imagination."

Rochelle Spencer, author of AfroSurrealism: The African Diaspora's Surrealist Fiction (2018)


Publication Details

All of our books are printed locally in Oakland, CA. We strongly believe in supporting local publishers and local printers. 

January 2018 • 5.5 x 7.5 • 160 pp. •  Trade Paper

ISBN: 978-0-9994471-5-4

Cover art by Patricia Atkinson

Interior and cover design by Britta Fithian-Zurn

Author Details

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