Nicole Sealey - portrait

Nicole Sealey

John Guare Writers Fund Rome Prize, a gift of Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman
September 9, 2019–April 3, 2020
2019–20 Hodder Fellow, Princeton University
Project title
Instigation of Dement
Project description

Instigation of Dement is an epic erasure of the United States Department of Justice’s one-hundred-plus-page Ferguson report, documented evidence of racially bias policing and court practices in Ferguson, Missouri. The book-length poem follows black teens on their epic journey from Ferguson to the fictional city of Freedom. Unlike background music intended to be an unobtrusive accompaniment, the report as backdrop is meant to be meddlesome, serving to contextualize the journey in the present moment. The report in relief of the poem creates an inescapable double interiority that forces entry into worlds both real (the report) and imagined (the erasure).