Diversity and "perspective by incongruity" dene the approach to changing times in this fourth volume of the First of the Year series. Insights come from interesting minds in unobvious juxtapositions. First's roster of irreverent—and holy!—regulars includes Amiri Baraka, Bernard Avishai, Uri Avnery, Chuck D, Diane di Prima, Fr. Rick Frechette, Donna Gaines, Lawrence Goodwyn, Roxane Johnson, W.T. Lhamon Jr., Philip Levine, Kanan Makiya, Bongani Madondo, Greil Marcus, Charles O'Brien, Judy Oppenheimer, Tom Smucker, Fredric Smoler, A.B. Spellman, Scott Spencer, Robert Farris Thompson, Richard Torres, David Waldstreicher, and Armond White.Their angles on history and history in the making are enhanced by contributions from new members of First's family of defamiliarizers such as Peter Brown, Wesley Brown, Mark Dudzic, Robert Hullot-Kentor, and Aram Saroyan.
Perspectives by Incongruity touches down in Kashmir, Haiti, South Africa, and Indonesia. There's a vital section devoted to the Arab Spring. But the volume homes in on the U.S.A. as well, digging into race and class structures of feeling (and fantasy). It means to comprehend the Obama era in real time. Music is key to Perspectives by Incongruity's offbeat truth-telling. Contributors sound off on Jay Z and Kanye West, mambo and Afropop, Dylan and Coltrane, Sun Ra and Arcade Fire. First's meaning is (as ever) in the mix.