Spotlight on Fiction and Poetry by Black Women
A celebrated American poet offers an intimate, affecting and revealing look at her personal history and the mysteries of her own heart, taking us into her confidence as she ruminates on her life and the people who have helped shape her into the woman she has become.
Explores the legacy of racial disparity in the South through the story of three generations of an African American family in New Orleans.
When her new husband is arrested and imprisoned for a crime she knows he did not commit, a rising artist takes comfort in a longtime friendship, only to encounter unexpected challenges in resuming her life when her husband's sentence is suddenly overturned.
Torn between the fantasies of her youth and the realities of a life marked by violence and abandonment, August reunites with a beloved old friend who challenges her to reconcile past inconsistencies and come to terms with the difficulties that forced her to grow up too quickly.
A haunting collection of lyrically-intense persona poems, Black Crow Dress
is at once about the emancipation of slaves in their myriad voices as well as a meditation on the self. The collection's lush imagery takes us from church yard to church, chanting the old spirituals, as Johnson seeks to embody the spirits of the dead: Clea, Caroline and Zebedee.
Through the rhythms and musicality unique to Colleen McElroy's voice, Blood Memory
portrays an extended family, a complex culture spanning several decades, multiple victories and failures, and a single brilliant soul that frames the poems.
Forced by duty to return to his racially divided East Texas hometown, an African-American Texas Ranger risks his job and reputation to investigate a highly charged double murder case involving a black Chicago lawyer and a local white woman. By the award-winning author of Pleasantville
Collects essays, poetry, and images that expose the racial tensions in twenty-first century life, highlighting the slights, slips of the tongue, and intentional offensives that pervade the home, school, and popular media.
Buying his freedom after serving as a translator during the American Indian wars, Cow Tom builds a remarkable life and legacy that is sustained by his courageous granddaughter.
Showcases the diversity of the poet's work, including such topics as love, Greek myths, and America's kaleidoscopic cultural heritage.
A collection of stories by the award-winning author of Bad Feminist
explores the hardscrabble lives, passionate loves and quirky human connections experienced by diverse protagonists, including a woman who pretends she does not know that her husband and his identical twin switch places with her.
In a powerful coming-of-age tale that also doubles as a portrait of Philadelphia in the late 80s and early 90s, Kenya Curtis, who knows that she is different, but can't put her finger on why, grows increasingly disgruntled by her inability to find any place, thing or person that feels like home.
is an imaginative exploration of Black girlhood and womanhood through poetry, visual art, and narrative prose.
A modern-day story of family, loss, and renewal, Halsey Street captures the deeply human need to belong-not only to a place but to one another.
Two half sisters, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in 18th-century Ghana and experience profoundly different lives and legacies throughout subsequent generations marked by wealth, slavery, war, coal mining, the Great Migration and the realities of 20th-century Harlem.
Winner of the Feminist Wire's inaugural poetry contest, ford debuts with a fiery collection that uses language both evocatively rich and colloquially sharp and sly to capture the African American experience.
A novel about sisters, the legacy of the Black Power Movement, and the troubled bond between African Americans and Africans.
With allusions to David Bowie and interplanetary travel, Life on Mars
imagines a soundtrack for the universe to accompany the discoveries, failures, and oddities of human existence. In these brilliant new poems, Tracy K. Smith envisions a sci-fi future sucked clean of any real dangers, contemplates the dark matter that keeps people both close and distant, and revisits the kitschy concepts like "love" and "illness" now relegated to the Museum of Obsolescence.
Rona Jaffe Award winner Jones explores race, identity, history, and Birmingham, AL, in this debut collection.
After the 2010 Haitian earthquake tears her family apart, a Haitian immigrant in the U.S. tries to deal with the emotional fallout.
Oreo - Fran Ross
Oreo, a biracial black girl from Philadelphia, searches for her Jewish father in New York City, navigating the labyrinth of sound studios, brothels, and subway tunnels of Manhattan in a journey of self-discovery.
Play Dead - Francine J. Harris
Identity, gender and race politics all collide ferociously in this unflinching collection that actively cuts through cultural and social constructs.
Hoping for a new start when she unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm, Charley moves to Louisiana, where she confronts her grandmother's judgmental beliefs while balancing the farm's overwhelming challenges with the needs of her homesick daughter, her troubled brother and her own yearning heart.
Award-winning poet Shockley investigates the ongoing abuses suffered by African Americans while connecting them to sociopolitical threats worldwide.
In language mesmerizingly blunt-spoken and honest, then sliding into starshine (the title as a whole comes from poet Lucille Clifton), Pushcart Prize winner Moon makes vital art of the African American experience.
A collection of writings about finding grace in grieving.
In a contemporary black community, seventeen-year-old Nadia Turner mourns the suicide of her mother, leading her to take up with the local pastor's son, but the resulting pregnancy and the subsequent cover-up will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.
Suddenly sent from their home in Brooklyn to Bird Hill in Barbados after their mother can no longer care for them, sisters Phaedra and Dionne spend the summer of 1989 living with their grandmother Hyacinth, a midwife and practitioner of the local spiritual practice of obeah.
At one time a wild young girl and a brilliant artist, Ava Delaney changes dramatically after a violent event that rocks her entire family. Once loved and respected in their community and in their church, the Delaneys are ostracized by their neighbors, led by their church leader, and a seventeen year feud ensues.
A wildly inventive novel tells the story of Johnny Ribkins, a 72-year-old African-American antiques dealer and patriarch of a gifted family, the members of which sometimes stumble in their efforts to succeed in life.
A novel centered on the journey of the Turner family and its thirteen siblings, particularly the eldest and youngest, as they face the ghosts of their pasts—both an actual haint and the specter of addiction—the imminent loss of their mother, and the necessary abandonment of their family home in struggling Detroit
A respected family court judge who has spent her life making tough calls, Diane Tate must make the toughest one yet in her own life when her 68-year-old husband is diagnosed with early onset dementia and, along with her children, must reexamine her connection to the man he once was—and learn to love the man he has become.
These poems weave between personal narrative and pop-cultural criticism, examining and confronting modern media, consumption, feminism, and Blackness. This collection explores femininity and race in the contemporary American political climate, folding in references from jazz standards, visual art, personal family history, and Hip Hop. The voice of this book is a multifarious one: writing and rewriting bodies, stories, and histories of the past, as well as uttering and bearing witness to the truth of the present, and actively probing toward a new self, an actualized self.
Robin Coste Lewis’s electrifying collection is a triptych that begins and ends with lyric poems considering the roles desire and race play in the construction of the self.
In these powerfully rendered, prizewinning stories, working-class African Americans across the South strive for meaning and search for direction in lives shaped by forces beyond their control. The ten stories in this resonant collection deal with both the ties that bind and the gulf that separates generations, from children confronting the fallibility of their own parents for the first time to adults finding themselves forced to start over again and again.
An African-American, sign-language-fluent family is hired by a private research institute—with a shocking, secret past—to teach sign language to a chimpanzee who will live as part of their household.
Raised in America, the multiracial daughter of a mother from Johannesburg struggles with her mother's terminal cancer and her own need to find love and a place to belong, quests shaped by losses, changes in her sense of identity and unexpected motherhood.
A collection of newly found stories by the late playwright and filmmaker explores race, gender, family, and sexuality.
Where the Line Bleeds
is Jesmyn Ward’s gorgeous first novel and the first of three novels set in Bois Sauvage—followed by Salvage the Bones
and Sing, Unburied, Sing
—comprising a loose trilogy about small town sourthern family life.
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With wit, startling diction, and audacious manipulation of syntax and form, Witch Wife’s incantatory poems bring forth wild, singular music.