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ISBN: 978-1-955239-31-8
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Categories Nomadic, Poetry

Son of Byford

Publication Date: July 2022


In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. Son of Byford was originally published by Nomadic.

Son of Byford is a meandering mining of meaning from the memory of many middle passages. This collection refracts 1970’s shades of Black and blues that give way to hip hop, post-millennium tensions, and godless queer queryings, informed by love, conviction, and hope.


Son of Byford drops truths like science, a Black queer memorizing that simultaneously refutes and ticks identity boxes we’ve been told can never, ever possibly intersect. Kalamka’s poems are an act of love, a necessary gift of space making.
Nalo Hopkinson, author of Brown Girl in the Ring

Punk and delicious/Faggot and viscous/A boy who is cunt/No longer fictitious.
Dazié Grego-Sykes, author of Black Faggotry

The word “outspoken” is so weak when applied to Juba Kalamka–“real-spoken” is much closer. His personal/cultural narrative work in Son of Byford sinks in deep by being just that–so goddamn real. The spoken part is there too–this is hybrid verbal work….these words fly off the page into your face and ears with all kinds of language, preaching and sex talking, marking history and erasures, summoning, enacting and embodying a frank lingua, sounding blood and truth.
Richard Lorange

Son of Byford is the poetry we need right now: urgent, erudite, ferocious and tender. Give this book to all of your friends who are righteous, and maybe some of the ones who need to become more righteous, too.
Charlie Jane Anders, author of Never Say You Can’t Survive and All the Birds in the Sky

I’ve been waiting for this book for so many years. Son of Byford Is an epic compilation of Juba Kalamka’s work over the years and it is also right on time, the poetry we need to read in this moment of forever pandemic/eugenics war/fascism/all-out war on us. It is work for all of us. Juba’s work always hits all the layers-of Black queer disabled pervert, of all the ones who the other ones don’t want around. Juba remembers everything and his work helps us remember our dead, our past selves and the ones they want us to forget, including ourselves. Read this book. I’m so glad it’s here.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, author of Care Work, Tongue breaker, and The Future Is Disabled.

About the Author

© Othear Kinney

Juba Kalamka

Juba Kalamka is most recognized for his work with performance troupes Sins Invalid and Mangos With Chili and as co-founder and producer of the queer hip hop group Deep Dickollective (D/DC). His writing appears in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Anthology of Rap (Yale University Press, 2010), Queer and Trans Artists of Color: The Stories of Some of Our Lives (2014), Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men (Bisexual Resource Center, 2015) and Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers’ Poetry(Arsenal Pulp Press,2019). His first full-length poetry collection, Son of Byford (Nomadic Press) and his debut album with queer nü metal/rap-rock collective COMMANDO (on Kill Rock Stars) were released in 2022.

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