10 WOC Releases in April 2018

Happy holidays to all celebrating! Hope you had a lovely weekend! ūüôā

I’ve got some reading plans this month but I’m so bad at sticking to them, so have a new books post, much more satisfying all around, I hope! While March was an outstanding month in terms of new releases, April has some gems waiting for you as well!

april image releases

 

1)The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard GR

detective tea

April 2nd, 2018 by JABberwocky Literary Agency

Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appareance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.

A transport ship discharged from military service after a traumatic injury, The Shadow’s Child now ekes out a precarious living as a brewer of mind-altering drugs for the comfort of space-travellers. Meanwhile, abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau wants to find a corpse for a scientific study. When Long Chau walks into her office, The Shadow’s Child expects an unpleasant but easy assignment. When the corpse turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The Shadow’s Child with her.” (GR)

 

2) America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo GR

america is not the heart

April 3rd, 2018 by Viking

“How many lives can one person lead in a single lifetime? When Hero de Vera arrives in America, disowned by her parents in the Philippines, she’s already on her third. Her uncle, Pol, who has offered her a fresh start and a place to stay in the Bay Area, knows not to ask about her past. And his younger wife, Paz, has learned enough about the might and secrecy of the De Vera family to keep her head down. Only their daughter Roni asks Hero why her hands seem to constantly ache.

Illuminating the violent political history of the Philippines in the 1980s and 1990s and the insular immigrant communities that spring up in the suburban United States with an uncanny ear for the unspoken intimacies and pain that get buried by the duties of everyday life and family ritual, Castillo delivers a powerful, increasingly relevant novel about the promise of the American dream and the unshakable power of the past.”¬†(GR)

 

3) Eye Level: Poems by Jenny Xie GR

eye level

April 3rd 2018 by Graywolf Press

“Jenny Xie‚Äôs award-winning debut, Eye Level, takes us far and near, to Phnom Penh, Corfu, Hanoi, New York, and elsewhere, as we travel closer and closer to the acutely felt solitude that centers this searching, moving collection. Animated by a restless inner questioning, these poems meditate on the forces that moor the self and set it in motion, from immigration to travel to estranging losses and departures. The sensual worlds here‚Äēcolors, smells, tastes, and changing landscapes‚Äēbring to life questions about the self as seer and the self as seen.” (GR)

 

4) Black Girl Magic by by Mahogany L. Browne, Idrissa Simmonds, Jamila Woods, eds. GR

black girl magic

April 3rd 2018 by Haymarket Books

“A BreakBeat Poets anthology, Black Girl Magic celebrates and canonizes the words of Black women across the diaspora.¬†Black Girl Magic continues and deepens the work of the first BreakBeat Poets anthology by focusing on some of the most exciting Black women writing today. This anthology breaks up the myth of hip-hop as a boys‚Äô club, and asserts the truth that the cypher is a feminine form.” (Haymarket)

 

5) Dread Nation by Justina Ireland GR

dread nation

April 3rd, 2018 by Balzer + Bray

“Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville‚ÄĒderailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities‚ÄĒand Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It‚Äôs a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society‚Äôs expectations.” (GR)

 

6) Waiting for Tomorrow by Nathacha Appanah, (Geoffrey Strachan, translator) GR

appanah waiting

April 3rd 2018 by Graywolf Press

“Anita is waiting for Adam to be released from prison. They met twenty years ago at a New Year‚Äôs Eve party in Paris, a city where they both felt out of place‚ÄĒhe as a recent arrival from the provinces, and she as an immigrant from the island of Mauritius. They quickly fell in love, married, and moved to a village in southwestern France, to live on the shores of the Atlantic with their little girl, Laura.

In order to earn a living, Adam has left behind his love of painting to become an architect, and Anita has turned her desire to write into a job freelancing for a local newspaper. Over time, the monotony of daily life begins to erode the bonds of their marriage. The arrival of Ad√®le, an undocumented immigrant from Mauritius whom they hire to care for Laura, sparks artistic inspiration for both Adam and Anita, as well as a renewed energy in their relationship. But this harmony will prove to be short-lived, brought down by their separate transgressions of Ad√®le‚Äôs privacy and a subsequently tragic turn of events.” (GR)

 

7) Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith GR

wade water

April 3rd 2018 by Graywolf Press

“In Wade in the Water, Tracy K. Smith boldly ties America‚Äôs contemporary moment both to our nation‚Äôs fraught founding history and to a sense of the spirit, the everlasting. These are poems of sliding scale: some capture a flicker of song or memory; some collage an array of documents and voices; and some push past the known world into the haunted, the holy. Smith‚Äôs signature voice‚ÄĒinquisitive, lyrical, and wry‚ÄĒturns over what it means to be a citizen, a mother, and an artist in a culture arbitrated by wealth, men, and violence. Here, private utterance becomes part of a larger choral arrangement as the collection widens to include erasures of The Declaration of Independence and the correspondence between slave owners, a found poem comprised of evidence of corporate pollution and accounts of near-death experiences, a sequence of letters written by African Americans enlisted in the Civil War, and the survivors‚Äô reports of recent immigrants and refugees. Wade in the Water is a potent and luminous book by one of America‚Äôs essential poets.” (GR)

 

8) Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires GR

heads of the

April 10th 2018 by Atria / 37 INK

“Each captivating story plunges headfirst into the lives of new, utterly original characters. Some are darkly humorous‚ÄĒfrom two mothers exchanging snide remarks through notes in their kids‚Äô backpacks, to the young girl contemplating how best to notify her Facebook friends of her impending suicide‚ÄĒwhile others are devastatingly poignant‚ÄĒa new mother and funeral singer who is driven to madness with grief for the young black boys who have fallen victim to gun violence, or the teen who struggles between her upper middle class upbringing and her desire to fully connect with black culture.” (GR)

 

9) Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes GR

ghost boys

April 17th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

“Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that‚Äôs been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing.

Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father‚Äôs actions.” (GR)

 

10) She Called Me Woman by Azeenarh Mohammed, Chitra Nagarajan, ‎Aisha Salau,eds. GR

she called me woman

April 26th, 2018 by Cassava Republic Press

“This stirring and intimate collection brings together 30 captivating narratives to paint a vivid portrait of what it means to be a queer Nigerian woman. Covering an array of experiences – the joy and excitement of first love, the agony of lost love and betrayal, the sometimes-fraught relationship between sexuality and spirituality, addiction and suicide, childhood games and laughter – She Called Me Woman sheds light on how Nigerian queer women, despite their differences, attempt to build a life together in a climate of fear.”¬†(GR)

 

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What new books are you forward to? Let me know in the comments!

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5 On My TBR

5 on my tbr

Welcome, welcome to another listicle! My tbr is almost toppling over, but without access to a well-stocked library and a tight budget, a lot of my reading these days is done via kindle and on Scribd. Which is back to being unlimited, hurrah! Here are five works I hope to get to very soon:

1.A Bit of Difference by Sefi Atta

GR

sefi atta

“At thirty-nine, Deola Bello, a Nigerian expatriate in London, is dissatisfied with being single and working overseas. Deola works as a financial reviewer for an international charity. When her job takes her back to Nigeria in time for her father‚Äôs five-year memorial service, she finds herself turning her scrutiny inward. In Nigeria, Deola encounters changes in her family and in the urban landscape of her home, and new acquaintances who offer unexpected possibilities.” (GR)
I always seem to be drawn to Nigerian authors, but this is my first Sefi Atta! Hope it’s a good one to start out with! Have you read her works?

2.Black, Brown, Yellow, and Left by Laura Pulido

GR

black brown yellow and left

“Laura Pulido traces the roots of third world radicalism in Southern California during the 1960s and 1970s in this accessible, wonderfully illustrated comparative study. Focusing on the Black Panther Party, El Centro de Acci√≥n Social y Autonomo (CASA), and East Wind, a Japanese American collective, she explores how these African American, Chicana/o, and Japanese American groups sought to realize their ideas about race and class, gender relations, and multiracial alliances.” (GR)
I love works that explore solidarity and shared struggles along racial and gender lines! This one looks at activism in Los Angeles in the 60s/70s, hope it’s a good one.

3.Inherit the Crown by Jayde Brooks

GR

inherit the crown

“Eden Reid is not interested in prophesy. The problem is that a doozy of a prophesy is bearing down on her. Such is the case when you’re a twenty-five-year-old from Brooklyn, New York who is about to discover she is an ancient god. A truly formidable demon is gunning for her; a zombie-like pandemic is spreading across the country; and there is the mysterious, handsome stranger with powers of his own who claims to have been her lover from a time and a life that Eden cannot remember.” (GR)

This book collects two novels in one: Daughter of Gods and Shadows and the sequel City of Dark Creatures. The series sounds pretty epic, about a young Black woman who tries for normalcy but also happens to be a reincarnated warrior god!

4.Nameless Woman by ellyn pe√Īa, jamie berrout & venus selenite, eds.

ÔŅľnameless woman

“Nameless Woman, the Collective’s first publication, is an expanded edition of An Anthology of Fiction by Trans Women of Color, which was originally published as an ebook by editors Ellyn Pe√Īa and Jamie Berrout on March 31, 2016. Nameless Woman is twice the length of the original anthology and features the contributions of eleven more people, including editor Venus Selenite and artist Luvia Montero.” (GR)

It’s here and I’m excited to delve into this collection! It’s wonderful to see this anthology collect even more stories and contributors. I’ve also got a poetry collection by Venus Selenite waiting for me, so I might read those in tandem with the anthology.

5.Belle City by Penny Mickelbury

GR

belle city

“This interracial, intergenerational saga of love, land and loss is told from the disparate perspectives of Ruth Thatcher, who is Black, and Jonas Thatcher, who is White, and spans nearly a century. The story, told in three parts, begins in Carrie‚Äôs Crossing, Georgia, in 1917 on the eve of World War I, when Ruth and Jonas first meet as 12-year-old farm children, and ends in 2005 as their descendants struggle to unravel and understand the legacies of this star-crossed pair. Ruth and Jonas have left behind them two astounding wills and a century of oral and written family history to tell the stories of their respective families against the backdrop of Reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan, two World Wars, Jim Crow, the Great Migration, and the Jazz Age, segueing ultimately into the strange new digital world of the Twenty-First Century.” (GR)

Penny Mickelbury writes excellent mysteries! But she’s also published Belle City, a sprawling family saga. To be honest these sort of books scare me off, somehow I rarely manage to connect with each generation, but I haven’t given up yet and I do love her detective stories, so once more into the breach! Sounds like the book for epic, family saga readers though!

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What’s waiting in your ebook queue / on your tbr? Let me know in the comments!

R.EADERS I.MBIBING P.ERIL – #RIPXII

rip7

I am so so late, but still, I had to sign up for R.I.P. VII which is one of my favorite challenges! ‘Tis the season, the creepy season! ūüôā I love fall and I love creepy reads! I got a ton of candles, thick quilts and hot tea! Also, the weather is perfect, rainy and windy and gloomy, so bring it! And even if I’m not up to a lot of things these days, I still wanna at least participate in R.I.P. and mayyybe finally get over my blogging slump. Fingers crossed!

R.I.P. runs from September 1 through October 31 and is the brainchild of Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings, who has now passed the torch to awesome Heather and Andi. The goal is to read books from these genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, Supernatural.

As usual, I will do Peril the First, that is read four books from the R.I.P. genres. Of course I will also pick diverse books, mostly by women writers of color. Here’s what’s on my tbr so far:

 

1. Forever Vacancy: A Colors in Darkness Anthology
by Colors in Darkness, Kenya Moss-Dyme, Eden Royce, Mya Lairis.

forvervacancy

“Colors in Darkness, the premiere online site for dark fiction authors of color presents its first anthology!¬†Amid the upheaval of the 1960s, the Kretcher Motel opened in a poor, desolate part of Atlanta. It still serves its original purpose: to lure those souls who are lost, who are troubled, who are evil‚Ķto itself. Check in to view these thirteen dark tales of horror, betrayal, fear, and wickedness, all featuring characters of color. You may never want to leave.” (GR)

I’ve read a bit from this one, there are some amazing stories here, but I thought I might as well reread the, and try to put up a review for R.I.P. since I feel like it should be better known.

 

2.Gulab by Annie Zaidi.

gulab

“Gulab tests the limits that our mind sets upon a ghost‚Äôs powers. If you see her as a woman clinging to life, there is not much to fear. Yet: what if she wants to return to your life? And what makes you think you can make her leave?” (GR)

Okay the R.I.P. appropriate cover got me, but excited to try this author’s works.

3.Black Orchid Blues by Persia Walker

persia walker

“Lanie Price, a 1920s Harlem society columnist, witnesses the brutal nightclub kidnapping of the “Black Orchid,‚ÄĚ a sultry, seductive singer with a mysterious past. When hours pass without a word from the kidnapper, puzzlement grows as to his motive. After a gruesome package arrives at Price‚Äôs doorstep, the questions change. Just what does the kidnapper want–and how many people is he willing to kill to get it?” (GR)

More #DiverseDetectives! Hope I’ll enjoy this one, cause it’s a series. This title is also available on Scribd btw.

 

4.The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan

the bloodprint

“A dark power called the Talisman has risen in the land, born of ignorance and persecution. Led by a man known only known as the One-eyed Preacher, it is a cruel and terrifying movement bent on world domination‚ÄĒa superstitious patriarchy that suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing.” (GR)

Ausma Zehanat Khan is writing epic fantasy now, I am so fucking excited! It’s waiting on my kindle, for my week of vacation soon!

 

Are you participating in the R.I.P. challenge? What’s on your list?

10 More 2017 Releases To Look Forward To Pt. 2

2017 books 2 fertig

We’re halfway through 2017, how did that happen!? But at least on the bookish side of things, the next six months are going to be amazing. My budget is pretty small, but one can dream right? So here’s my wish list of 10 releases for fall/winter 2017, mostly not including YA lit cause you all covered this extremely well already!

 

1. When We Speak of Nothing by Olumide Popoola gr-pic

popoola

Cassava Republic: July 3rd

Best mates Karl and Abu are both 17 and live near Kings Cross. Its 2011 and racial tensions are set to explode across London. Abu is infatuated with gorgeous classmate Nalini but dares not speak to her. Meanwhile, Karl is the target of the local “wannabe” thugs just for being different.¬†When Karl finds out his father lives in Nigeria, he decides that Port Harcourt is the best place to escape the sound and fury of London, and connect with a Dad he’s never known. Rejected on arrival, Karl befriends Nakale, an activist who wants to expose the ecocide in the Niger Delta to the world, and falls headlong for his feisty cousin Janoma. Meanwhile, the murder of Mark Duggan triggers a full-scale riot in London. Abu finds himself in its midst, leading to a near-tragedy that forces Karl to race back home. (GR)

 

2.Walking On Knives by Maya Chhabra gr-pic

maya

Less Than Three Press: July 26th

The little mermaid has no idea that as she makes her way on land, she’s being watched over by the sister of the very witch with whom she made her bargain. She has no idea that the witch’s sister is falling in love with her. When the prince decides to marry another woman, the little mermaid’s secret helper offers her a chance to live. But the price may be too high‚Ķ (GR)

 

3.We That Are Young by Preti Taneja gr-pic

taneja

Galley Beggar Press: August 3rd

Jivan Singh, the bastard scion of the Devraj family, returns to his childhood home after a long absence ‚Äď only to witness the unexpected resignation of the ageing patriarch from the vast corporation he founded, the Devraj Company. On the same day, Sita, Devraj‚Äôs youngest daughter, absconds ‚Äď refusing to submit to the marriage her father wants for her. Meanwhile, Radha and Gargi, Sita‚Äôs older sisters, must deal with the fallout‚Ķ And so begins a brutal, deathly struggle for power, ranging over the luxury hotels and spas of New Delhi and Amritsar, the Palaces and slums of Napurthala, to Srinagar, Kashmir. (Galley Beggar Press)

 

4.Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie gr-pic

home fire

Riverhead Books: August 15th

Practical-minded Isma has spent the years since her mother‚Äôs death watching out for her twin brother and sister in their North London home. When an invitation to grad school in America comes through unexpectedly, it brings the irresistible promise of freedom too long deferred. But even an ocean away, Isma can‚Äôt stop worrying about her beautiful, headstrong, politically inclined sister, Aneeka, and Parvaiz, their brother, who seems to be adrift‚ÄĒuntil suddenly he is half a globe away in Raqqa, trying to prove himself to the dark legacy of the father he never knew, with no road back. (GR)

 

5.Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke gr-pic

bluebird

Serpent’s Tale: September

When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules–a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home.¬†When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders–a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman–have stirred up a hornet’s nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes–and save himself in the process–before Lark’s long-simmering racial fault lines erupt. (GR)

 

6.Electric Arches by Eve L. Ewing gr-pic

ewing arches

Haymarket Books: September 12th

Electric Arches is an imaginative exploration of black girlhood and womanhood through poetry, visual art, and narrative prose. Blending stark realism with the fantastical, Ewing takes us from the streets of Chicago to an alien arrival in an unspecified future, deftly navigating boundaries of space, time, and reality with delight and flexibility. (GR)

 

7.The Bloodprint by Ausma Zehanat Khan gr-pic

ausma

Harper Voyager: October 3rd

A dark power called the Talisman has risen in the land, born of ignorance and persecution. Led by a man known only known as the One-eyed Preacher, it is a cruel and terrifying movement bent on world domination‚ÄĒa superstitious patriarchy that suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing. (GR)

 

8.Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado gr-pic

her body and other

Graywolf Press: October 3rd

A wife refuses her husband s entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store s prom dresses. One woman s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella Especially Heinous, Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naively assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgangers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes. (GR)

 

9.Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki, Brooke Allen gr-pic

lumberjanes

Amulet Books: October 10th

Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet‚Äôs Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin‚ÄĒJo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley‚ÄĒlove their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella‚Äôs, where the woods contain endless mysteries.¬†Today is no exception. When challenge-loving April leads the girls on a hike up the TALLEST mountain they‚Äôve ever seen, things don‚Äôt go quite as planned. For one, they didn‚Äôt expect to trespass into the lands of the ancient Cloud People, and did anyone happen to read those ominous signs some unknown person posted at the bottom of the mountain? Also, unicorns. (GR)

 

10.Migrant Futures: Decolonizing Speculation in Financial Times by Aimee Bahng gr-pic

migrant futures

Duke UP: December 15th

In Migrant Futures Aimee Bahng traces the cultural production of futurity by juxtaposing the practices of speculative finance against those of speculative fiction. While financial speculation creates a future based on predicting and mitigating risk for wealthy elites, the wide range of speculative novels, comics, films, and narratives Bahng examines imagine alternative futures that envision the multiple possibilities that exist beyond capital’s reach. (GR)

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Need more for your TBR? Check out my list for the first half of 2017 here.¬†And be sure to take a look at Wendy’s list of diverse releases for June, July and August!

What book release are you looking forward to the most? Let me know in the comments!

#RamadanReadathon TBR

ramadan-readathon

It’s June already somehow and as well as it being Pride Month, Nad and Zoya are hosting a readathon celebrating Muslim authors to coincide with Ramadan: #RamadanReadathon!

There are so many amazing works by Muslim writers, but sadly I’m not the fastest reader and I’m also trying to read some LGBTQIA+ books for Pride Month, but hopefully I’ll manage at least these 4 books. And yes, one¬†of them also fits my Pride reading, although I have some more of those on my secret tbr (the book stack I really want to read, but will probably fail at spectacularly, so keeping seeecret ūüėÄ ). Also, I will do a Pride Month tbr post soon as well.

loving you wasnt enough

Loving You Wasn’t Enough by Fatima Warsame¬†gr-pic

Ebyan Jama has always led a life of clarity. She stayed away from boys, prayed everyday and never let even her most passionate dream to become a musician stand in the way of her faith. Her devotion to Islam and pride in her African roots provided her an unshakeable foundation. Unshakeable, until her world was turned upside down and her heart was ignited the moment she locked eyes with Noreen Iqbal. (goodreads)

size of a mustard seed

The Size of a Mustard Seed by Umm Juwayriyah gr-pic

Sullivan ushers in a new era of fiction–urban Islamic fiction–with this tale about Jameelah, a 27-year-old Muslim woman born to what appears to be one of the inner-city’s stronger blended American-Muslim families. (goodreads)

gauntlet

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi gr-pic

A trio of friends from New York City find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game that they must dismantle in order to save themselves and generations of other children in this action-packed debut that’s a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair. (goodreads)

fire boy

Fire Boy by Sami Shah gr-pic

From Sami Shah comes Fire Boy, the first of a two-part urban fantasy set in modern-day Pakistan, where djinns roam the street alongside corrupt cops, hustling beggars, and creatures from the darkest corners of Islamic mythology. (goodreads)

A peaceful Ramadan, Muslim friends!

Are you participating in the readathon? Let me know what you’ll be reading!

10 Poetry Collections by Black Women #BlackHistoryMonth

poetry-post-pic-fertig

It’s Black History Month! And while I try to read and highlight Black writers throughout the year, I thought I’d contribute a few extra posts for folks celebrating and folks looking for more resources. While spoken word is my first love, I have been getting better at reading poetry and so I thought I’d share some of my favorite Black women poets and collections that I’m reading or that are on my list. Let me know in the comments what you’re reading this month!

1.Narratives: Poems in the Tradition of Black Women by Cheryl Clarke gr-pic

narratives

Black lesbian poet Cheryl Clarke’s 1992 collection, first published by¬†Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, is about love and women creating representation.

 

2.The Black Unicorn by Audre Lorde gr-pic

black-unicorn

Fed up with the whiteness of the poetry and¬†nearly all literature taught in my school, Audre Lorde was one of the first poets I really connected with. The poems in this collection are beautiful and powerful, and explore how we inhabit multiple positions. Find¬†“A Litany for Survival,” and other poems here.

 

3.Black Wings & Blind Angels by Sapphire gr-pic

black-wings

This work collects over 40 poems by the author of Push, as unflinching and harrowing and powerful as her novel, but also trigger warnings for abuse and incest.

 

4.Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith gr-pic

blood-dazzler

When it comes to poetry, spoken word is my first love. Here’s Blood Dazzler by amazing Patricia Smith, check our her spoken word performances (some videos are available online)! This collection follows Hurricane Katrina and the destruction unleashed through the voices of survivors, politicians and even the hurricane itself.

5.They Are All Me by Dominique Christina gr-pic

they-are-all-me

Another slam poet, Dominique Christina is also an educator and activist and this work is her second poetry collection.  She takes on topics such as genocide, police violence, Katrina and menstruation.

6.Gospel by Samiya Bashir gr-pic

gospel

In this collection, poet Samiya Bashir takes on fear and power through gospel, but not necessarily (just) the religious meaning of the word. By the way, Bashir’s newest work comes out in April!

 

7.Beastgirl and Other Origin Myths by Elizabeth Acevedo gr-pic

beastgirl

In the 2016 collection Beastgirl, Afro-Latina poet Acevedo interweaves personal stories, mythology and Dominican culture.

8. BlackGirl Mansion by Angel Nafis gr-pic

blackgirl-mansion

Also a spoken word artist, Angel Nafis’ poetry leaps off the page:¬†‚ÄúI am here now,/speaking and giving/in bursts/of chest, and effort,/and temperature.‚ÄĚ

9.Trigger by Venus Selenite gr-pic

trigger

This is poet, writer, performance artist, social critic, editor, educator, and technologist Venus Selenite’s debut collection “is a bold, intimate, and comfortable/uncomfortable quest, through (Selenite’s)¬†own eyes, in being Black, being queer, being trans, being a woman, and being non-binary in 21st century America, in what continues to be systemic and oppressive, but also adventurous and ecstatic” (venusselenite.com). Venus Selenite is also the co-editor of¬†Nameless Woman: An Anthology of Fiction by Trans Women of Color (forthcoming).

10.Name Poems by Jewelle L. Gómez gr-pic

name-poem

The Gilda Stories author Jewelle Gómez writes poetry as well. In this 2015 collection, she examines experiences at multiple intersections, exploring her Native American (Ioway, Wampanoag) heritage and Black lesbian identity.

Further reading:

10 Works of Black Lesbian Short Fiction

What are you reading this Black History Month?

10 Works of Black Lesbian Short Fiction

neueste

Recently, I was asked about short story collections by women of Color, and what a timely thing, too, since I’m planning on reading more short fiction this year. Collections are always a bit complicated for me: on the one hand I want to take my time and savor each story, treat it as a complete work by itself (as should be, unless it’s interconnected stories), but on the other I usually fail and pressure myself to read the whole collection quickly. So this year, I will again start an extra page in my menu for short stories I’ve read. I used to do this a few years ago, but have sadly let it slide. That way I hope to concentrate on a variety of stories, ¬†giving each¬†the same attention I would give a novel.

Now, short story collections by women of Color, that covers a lot of ground! So I’m starting with this list of Black lesbian short fiction:

1.Does Your Mama Know?: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Coming Out Stories by Lisa C. Moore, ed. gr-pic

does-your-mama-know

This important 1998 collection showcases Black lesbian coming out experiences. Many of the contributions are short stories but you can also find poems, interviews and essays. Edited by Lisa C. Moore who is also the founder and editor of the amazing RedBone Press, which publishes Black lesbian and gay literature. Note: There is now a second edition that comes with 17 new stories!

2.Speaking in Whispers: African-American Lesbian Erotica by Kathleen E. Morris gr-pic

speaking-in-whispers

A 1996 collection of erotic short fiction, celebrating Black lesbian sexuality and sensuality, also available from RedBone Press! Kathleen E. Morris identifies herself as a militant total femme dyke.

3.Afrekete: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Writing by Catherine E. McKinley, L. Joyce DeLaney, eds. gr-pic

afrekete

First published in 1995, the Afrekete anthology also includes poetry and nonfiction. It features works by Audre Lorde, Jewelle Gómez, Jacqueline Woodson, Alexis De Veaux and more and was nominated for the Lambda award in 1996.

4.Don’t Explain¬†by Jewelle G√≥mez¬†gr-pic

dont-explain-gomez

In her short story collection, American writer and cultural worker Jewelle Gómez (of The Gilda Stories fame) presents Black lesbian speculative fiction set in 1960s Boston and other futures.

5.Longing, Lust, and Love: Black Lesbian Stories by Shonia Brown, ed. gr-pic

longing-love-and-lust

A 2006 collection of erotic short fiction about Black lesbian love at different stages., edited by Shonia Brown, author of a novel and independent book publisher.

6.Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction by S. Andrea Allen, Lauren Cherelle, eds. gr-pic

lez-talk

A recent addition, this collection presents stories about the range of Black lesbian experiences in such genres as romance and SFF. Editor S. Andrea Allen is also the founder and publisher of Black feminist press BLF Press, take a look!

7.Two Moons: Stories by Krystal A. Smith gr-pic

two-moons

This collection isn’t out yet, but will be released¬†June 20, 2017 ( also by BLF Press)! Krystal A. Smith is a “Black lesbian writer of poetry and speculative fiction.”

8.Callaloo & Other Lesbian Love Tales by LaShonda K. Barnett gr-pic

callaloo

LaShonda Barnett is an author, radio host and scholar, and also the author of the novel Jam! On the Vine. Her short story collection from 1999 presents tales of Black lesbian women from different walks of life.

9.Black Girl Love¬†by Anondra “Kat” Williams¬†gr-pic

black-girl-love

Anondra “Kat” Williams is a writer and poet as well as a radio host and the author of another collection,¬†SistaGirl. Black Girl Love collects more than 25 short stories and poems about Black lesbians on love, life and sex.

10.Once and Future Lovers: A Collection of Short Fiction by Sheree L. Greer gr-pic

once-and-future-lovers

Sheree L. Greer is an author and the host of Oral Fixation, an LGBTQ Open Mic series. Her 2012 book is a short collection about the courage, joy, pain and pleasure of love and relationships.

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How do you read short story collections? And have you read any of the works above? 

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Further reading:

For all the¬†Black lesbian lit recommendations, visit Rena’s¬†excellent blog¬†Sistahs on the Shelf.

For more generally diverse short story collections, see for example Naz’ wonderful¬†list “Give Short Fiction A Chance”¬†here.