dark / / thing


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forthcoming February 2019 from Pleiades Press – winner of the 2018 Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Poetry–

dark // thing explores the operating costs incurred when blackness—black hair, black bottom, black diction and excellence—are perceived, but not uniquely seen. Ashley M. Jones has penned towns like Birmingham, Alabama and Flint, Michigan; penned America through the lens of Harriet Tubman, Dwayne Wayne, and the Emancipation Proclamation in a pitch tuned for everyone, whether you’re jonseing for sonnets, sestinas, or mathematical proofs. It is imperative that you read these poems, teach these poems, breathe deep this gift of a book.”

Marcus Wicker, judge

“From “Song of My Muhammad:” “I know I have the best of time and space in my two black fists,” to “The book of Tubman:” “And God made a railroad out of dirt and sweat, made a train out of a woman, / And god made her hair a burning bush, / And God made her so holy even He called her Moses.” This delicate pavane surrounds us with notes that sing us home to our past and present. Sister Ashley’s words continue us on the holy meditation begun in the 1960s about what it means to be human, and I say amen. Awoman. Amen. Awoman. Amen. A womannnnnnnnnnnn.

Sonia Sanchez, poet and activist