A lyrically bardic first collection from accomplished poet, Sarah Lipton-Sidibeh; Spanning the ages across Britain's colonial landscape, Sidibeh explores not only the body, but the body politic. With unflinching intimacy, Sidibeh illustrates the vagaries of ageing and loving in a body caught by endless possibilities and boundaries. Through the same critical eyes, she undresses Britain's colonial past and criminal present, laying bare society's ills and inequities; A comprehensive collection of humanity's collective struggles and radiant joys, The First Collection is an ambitious accomplishment.
Locating Strongwoman is a portrait of unperformed femininity. Eschewing the stereotypical portrayal of the "Strong Woman" and the even more loaded "Strong Black Woman", these poems invite the reader to interrogate the protagonists and find in their stories a quiet strength.
"...This is a book filled with want, love and the lack thereof, with striking lines like, 'As if he wasn't a bed of nails your love/laid on' and 'The factory of my body works overtime'. It teeters between violence and the razor-blade threat thereof. Straddling the inside and outside worlds on the head of a 'bobbing sewing needle', Locating Strongwoman is visceral and raw, vulnerable and strong. It will leave you thinking and feeling long after you turn its last page".
Peter Kahn, author of Little Kings and co-editor of The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks
"Through Locating Strongwoman, Tolu Agbelusi hosts a black women's sleepover. Where we drink wine and share stories, about the many complexities of navigating our hearts, how we are our mother's daughters and how our mothers are complex women. Strongwoman... The chilling truth behind this collection is that to be woman is to be silent... or silenced. Both in form and content, Locating Strongwoman is a trace of our mothers' silences and the inevitable release of our own voices. Tolu paints in a language that is familiar and comforting. And how wonderful it is to find yourself, over and over in poetry! As the woman who cannot be pinned into a box and doesn't want to be. To be seen."
Vangile Gantsho, author of Red Cotton and Undressing in Front of the Window; co-founder of Impepho Press
Courage and outrage inform 13 essays about black womanhood.
Searing in its emotional honesty, Womanish is an essay collection by award-winning author Kim McLarin that explores what it means to be a Black woman in today's turbulent times. Writing with candor, wit and vulnerability on topics including dating after divorce, depression, parenting older children, the Obamas, and the often fraught relations between white and black women, McLarin unveils herself at the crossroads of being black, female, middle-aged and, ultimately, American. Powerful and timely, McLarin not only draws upon a lifetime of experiences to paint an intimate portrait of a Black woman trying to come to terms with the world around her, but also exposes a society trying to come to terms with Black women.
On Reflection: Moments, Flight and Nothing New attempts to grapple with the complexities of our present moment. Personal and imagined stories appear as fragments of everyday scenes forming a narrative of self-discovery. Vignettes accompanied by photography explore life's contradictions, trauma, and the ways in which we navigate the fluidity of cities.
The poems move back and forth in time and across Europe, highlighting a range of experiences and perspectives of our modern society as a series of snapshots. In each, we catch a glimpse of ourselves, demonstrating how such moments and characters influence our journeys. Written from the consciousness of a British Ghanaian, the collection is a love letter to the lived and shared experience of those struggling and learning about the various intersections of their identity. Through the voice of Akos and other characters, Wiredu reaches to understand the significance of history, its effect on an evolving African diaspora in Europe, and finds hope in the present as she proposes an optimistic dialogue about the future.
In a remote community on the edge of a windswept desert, a woman has been condemned to death by stoning. Steeped in the harsh values of her traditional, patriarchal society, Noor accepts her fate. When an aid worker befriends her, urging her to defend herself and her unborn child, the two women form a bond. Together with Amina, Noor's outspoken friend, they struggle to defy the law. Written in prose imbued with the rhythms and images of the author's native language, Arabic, this is a tale of the bonds of female friendships, solidarity and empowerment in a society where a woman's voice, especially in the public sphere, has been denied.
Praise Song For The Butterflies
Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019, a powerful, well-researched, fictional account exploring the trokosi tradition for the curious and the open-minded.
Abeo Kata lives a comfortable, happy life in West Africa as the privileged nine-year-old daughter of a government employee and stay-at-home mother. But when the Katas' idyllic lifestyle takes a turn for the worse, Abeo's father, following his mother's advice, places the girl in a religious shrine, hoping that the sacrifice of his daughter will serve as atonement for the crimes of his ancestors. Unspeakable acts befall Abeo for the fifteen years she is enslaved within the shrine. When she is finally rescued, broken and battered, she must struggle to overcome her past, endure the revelation of family secrets, and learn to trust and love again. In the tradition of Chris Cleave's Little Bee, Praise Song for the Butterflies is a contemporary story that offers an educational, eye-opening account of the practice of ritual servitude in West Africa. Spanning decades and two continents, Praise Song for the Butterflies is an unflinching tale of the devastation that children are subject to when adults are ruled by fear and someone must pay the consequences.
"Abeo is unrelenting - a fiery protagonist who sparks in every scene. Bernice L. McFadden has created yet another compelling story, this time about hope and freedom." Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes the Sun
A Quick Ting On: Black British Power
From the Mangrove Nine to Notting Hill Carnival, writer and social commentator Chanté Joseph takes us through the formative, radical histories of Black British activism.
When the Windrush generation arrived in Britain, the concept of 'Black Britishness' or 'Black British Culture' did not yet exist. Fast forward to the present day, where a distinct and influential Black British identity exists.
This concise and informative book traverses the crucial topics within Black British history and culture: exploring community activism, protests, Notting Hill Carnival, the Black British Panthers, Women of the movement, the Mangrove Nine and the Black British Arts.
Celebrating and chronicling the fusion of social, political and artistic elements within Black activism in Britain, A Quick Ting On: British Black Power provides an insightful look at how the British Black Power movement first emerged and has developed since.
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