The Second Stop is Jupiter

Illustration of a Black woman wearing a chiton and a space helmet as she traverses what looks like a lunar landscape. The cover also includes the title, The Second Stop is Jupiter, and the author name, upfromsumdirt.

What if N. K. Jemisin or Ishmael Reed wrote Frankenstein, or if Kara Walker originally illustrated the works of the Brothers Grimm? What if, instead of modern superhero figures, the Black Panther characters as depicted by Ta-Nehisi Coates were figures of mythology, taught alongside the Greco-Roman pantheon? Divided into three sections—”I Don’t Know Who Needs To Hear This But,” “The Girl With The Frantz Fanon Tattoo,” and “The Underground Rubaiyat”—this collection of mythological, Afrofuturist, and surrealist poems addresses a literary void resulting from the structural violence of slavery and segregation. This collection invites readers to interrogate the motifs of canonical poetics alongside historical and contemporary interactions real and imagined.

Drawing inspiration from African and Diasporic narratives, these poems evoke the surrealism of African author Amos Tutuola as much as they do English author Lewis Carroll. The Second Stop is Jupiter is a deep engagement with the cultural narrative, populated with Black hero figures who will fuel the imagination. upfromsumdirt invites us to ask, what if, with characters and poetic motifs rooted in existing narratives of Black life and fable. Titles like “The Death of Olympia” and “The Three Sulas” set the tone for this collection to manifest a Pan-Africanist poetics entwined with themes of Classical Romanticism.