Prolific musician and poet Sadie Dupuis announces her second book, Cry Perfume. Though she relocated to Philadelphia in 2016, Dupuis had never been there for more than two consecutive weeks, thanks to near-permanent touring—until 2020 forced a hiatus from travel. Over the course of that year and the next at home, Dupuis compiled and edited four years’ worth of poems she’d written on the road. The result is Cry Perfume: a stunning new collection of poetry about beauty, mourning and music. Cry Perfume, which will be out on October 4 via Black Ocean, is the follow-up to her 2018 debut poetry collection, Mouthguard, which earned universal praise.
Over the past decade, Sadie Dupuis’ electrically dynamic guitar skills, detailed production work and meticulous lyricism have received superlative recognition from outlets including NPR, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and Wired. With rock band Speedy Ortiz, Sadie’s recorded three critically-beloved full lengths, touring alongside heroes The Breeders, Foo Fighters, Liz Phair, and Wilco. As Sad13, she’s self-produced two genre-expansive pop albums, collaborating with Lizzo, Backxwash, Ben Lee, and Helado Negro along the way. External to her personal creative endeavors, Sadie runs the record label and literary journal Wax Nine, which has pressed records by Spacemoth, Melkbelly, and Johanna Warren. She is also a founding organizer with the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers and the No Music for ICE campaign, which launched large-scale protests against the exploitation of working musicians, particularly at the hands of tech giants.
While touring has always felt fulfilling to Dupuis, years of gig work also made clear some of the slimiest structural contradictions in nightlife—a world which had once seemed glamorous to her. “I’d lost friends to overdose, and felt anger at the ways in which live music largely ignores the needs of musicians and music fans who use drugs or who face addiction—and how in many ways, artists are encouraged toward untenable living,” Dupuis says. “The chronic underpayment of musicians, the inseparability of venues and alcohol sales, and the arts’ increasing absorption into algorithmically-motivated tech felt like interwoven concerns.” Unequipped to truly process grief away from home, she opted for proactivity, inviting harm reduction organizations to distribute overdose reversal medication and supplies at her bands’ shows. A deeper understanding of harm reduction gave Dupuis a new lens on the inequities she’d sensed in music labor, and from this perspective, she wrote on the road—a first, as she’d previously struggled to create while traveling. Hundreds of pages of poems were written and eventually edited down, forming the manuscript for Cry Perfume.
Black Ocean is an award-winning independent publisher based out of Boston and Chicago. From early silent films to early punk rock, Black Ocean brings together a spectrum of influences to produce books of exceptional quality and content. In conjunction with our book releases we manifest our aesthetic in celebrations around the country. We believe in the fissures art can create in consciousness when, even if just for a moment, we experience a more vital way of operating in the world—and through that moment then seek out more extreme and enlightened modes of existence. We believe in the freedom we find through enlightened modes of existence, and we are committed to promoting artists we firmly believe in by sharing our enthusiasm for their work with a global audience. In 2022, Black Ocean merged with the L.A. publisher Not a Cult into a new publishing group called Chapter House, in what Forbes magazine called, “a new path for competitive small-press publishing in the digital era.” In 2019, Black Ocean absorbed the catalog of Seattle’s Gramma Press, which included Dupuis’ Mouthguard, but Cry Perfume marks the first true collaboration between the publisher and the musician.
Pre-order Cry Perfume here.
Photo Courtesy: Sarah Joyce