Poem for the Day: November 25th, 2021

Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

© 1995 Naomi Shihab Nye. “Kindness” originally appeared as part of Nye’s collection Words Under the Words: Selected Poems, which was published by Eighth Mountain Press in 1995.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 21st, 2021

Winter Journal: Threshed Blue, Cardings, Dim Tonsils by Emily Wilson

stripped batting of cloud
glimpsed ligaments
dusk coming up under
lithographic, nib-hatchings
instruments click
the fine-sprung locust
replicate dinge along hill-lines
tailings of umber, the rust smudge
There is still that hemmed ocean of oaks
the various reds, the somehow
silver cast over the brown-gold
the under-brushed shadows
How can there be more of their dispensing
into air?
The night-openings of the trees
The thousand clefts into
Their corridors shiver and merge and piece apart
There is no one beside what was once river
Only the carbons incoming
accreting in leaves
Love of old oaks unencumbering
Root-beauties brought through
crude sieves of bare trees
the few fastened leaves
Those pods are like tongues or like sickles
The blades have been pulled from their sheaths
The backs of the clouds now upturned
They herd from pink seas
They make their untouchable stream
through regions of steep emptiness
against which the trees have their gestures
Drop down, drop down toward me
your little sleek scars
Make your bed in rough cedars
clangor of darks numbering in
clusters of trunks and spoked lungs
the thistles that work at the gums

© 2001 Emily Wilson and Iowa City: University of Iowa Press. “Winter Journal: Threshed Blue, Cardings, Dim Tonsils” originally appeared in Wilson’s collection The Keep, which was published in 2001 by University of Iowa Press.

Emily Wilson studied at Harvard University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She has taught at the latter, as well as at Colby College, Grinnell College, and the University of Montana. Wilson is the author of four poetry collections: The Keep (University of Iowa Press, 2001); Morpho Terrestre (2006), a limited edition book featuring artwork by Sara Langworthy; Micrographia (University of Iowa Press, 2010); and The Great Medieval Yellows (Canarium Books, 2015).

Writing for Boston Review, James Galvin said of Wilson: “Generous in her spareness, clear in her complexity, matching wildness of diction with precision of sense, nervousness with nerve, her poems are not written for analysis, perhaps not even for approval. As we watch poetical heresies turn into orthodoxies, it becomes clear, especially in a poet like Wilson, that only originality, a signature style, remains steadfastly heretical.”

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 15th, 2021

Power Politics by Margaret Atwood

[you fit into me] by Margaret Atwood

you fit into me
like a hook into an eye

a fish hook
an open eye

© 1971 Margaret Atwood. “you fit into me” originally appeared in Atwood’s collection Power Politics, which was published in 1971 by House of Anansi Books. Margaret Atwood (1939-) is one of the world’s most beloved writers with more than seventy published works to her credit. You can find a full bibliography of her works here.

Further Reading

Margaret Atwood’s 10 essential books (CBC Books; originally posted on October 9th, 2019)

Open Door: The World We Think We See Is Only Our Best Guess: A Conversation with Margaret Atwood by M. Buna (Poetry Foundation; originally posted on November 18th, 2020)

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 13th, 2021

The Letter by Mary Ruefle

Beloved, men in thick green coats came crunching
through the snow, the insignia on their shoulders
of uncertain origin, a country I could not be sure of,
a salute so terrifying I heard myself lying to avoid
arrest, and was arrested along with Jocko, whose tear
had snapped off, a tiny icicle he put in his mouth.
We were taken to the ice prison, a palace encrusted
with hoarfrost, its dome lit from within, Jocko admired
the wiring, he kicked the walls to test the strength
of his new boots. A television stood in a block of ice,
its blue image still moving like a liquid center.
You asked for my innermost thoughts. I wonder will I
ever see a grape again? When I think of the vineyard
where we met in October—when you dropped a cluster
custom insisted you be kissed by a stranger—how after
the harvest we plunged into a stream so icy our palms
turned pink. It seemed our future was sealed. Everyone
said so. It is quiet here. Not closing our ranks
weakens us hugely. The snowflakes fall in a featureless
bath. I am the stranger who kissed you. On sunny days
each tree is a glittering chandelier. The power of
mindless beauty! Jocko told a joke and has been dead
since May. A bullethole in his forehead the officers
call a third eye. For a month I milked a barnful of
cows. It is a lot like cleansing a chandelier. Wipe
and polish, wipe and polish, round and round you go.
I have lost my spectacles. Is the book I was reading
still open by the side of our bed? Treat it as a bookmark
saving my place in our story.

(here the letter breaks off)

© 2000 Mary Ruefle. “The Letter” first appeared as part of Ruefle’s collection Post Meridian, which was published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2000.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Books with Buzz: New and Forthcoming in November 2021

I feel like publishers really stack the deck (or TBR pile, if you will) with November releases. They know the season for gift-giving is just around the bend and therefore the biggest titles of the year usually release in the weeks leading up to Hanukkah and Christmas. Below are some of the titles I’m most looking forward to picking up myself this season or considering getting as gifts. Links are included. Happy reading!

The Family: A Novel by Naomi Krupitsky

The Family: A Novel by Naomi Krupitsky

Publication Date: November 2nd, 2021

Publisher: Putnam

Page Count: 368

A Book of the Month Club pick as well as Jenna Bush Hager’s Read With Jenna selection for November 2021, The Family couldn’t have been released at a better time. For one thing, The Many Saints of Newark: A Sopranos Story, a prequel film to HBO’s The Sopranos, just came out on October 1st. While its theater performance was lackluster, it was a steaming hit on HBO Max and reignited interest in the original series as well as all things mafia in general.

Now, yours truly really appreciates the font on the cover, which serves as a none-too-subtle nod to Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. After all, it’s what made me pick up the book in the first place. There are some who would say that stories centering the families of organized crime had their heyday long ago, and who am I to tell someone they’re wrong? The Voracious Bibliophile, that’s who! For God’s sake, let us have our mobsters!!!

The Family tells the story of Sofia Colicchio and Antonia Russo, two Italian-American women raised in an insular Brooklyn community where their families’ business interests force them to hold the rest of the world at bay, forging them together into a bond not easily broken. The secrets of their world threaten that bond as they grow up, though, and only time will tell if the threads of their friendship will knit back together or fray past the point of repair.

Kirkus gave The Family a lukewarm-at-best review, calling it “a little too facile” and “readable but somewhat shallow”. Kruptisky’s novel is also negatively compared to the work of Elena Ferrante, but it’s not really fair to measure anyone in comparison to Ferrante, whose Neapolitan Novels quite literally changed my life. This was one of my Book of the Month Club picks for November and my box came the other day, so I will let you know my thoughts when I’m able to dig into it.

Win Me Something: A Novel by Kyle Lucia Wu

Win Me Something: A Novel by Kyle Lucia Wu

Publication Date: November 2nd, 2021

Publisher: Tin House

Page Count: 280

The Adriens are a manifestation of Willa’s wildest dreams, embodying the ideal family dynamic she always wanted but never had and living out a version of upper-middle-class life she has always craved but to which she never had access.

Win Me Something tells the story of Willa Chen, who while working as a waitress in Brooklyn gets the opportunity to work as a nanny for the Adrien family. The Adriens are a manifestation of Willa’s wildest dreams, embodying the ideal family dynamic she always wanted but never had and living out a version of upper-middle-class life she has always craved but to which she never had access.

As the mixed-race daughter of a Chinese immigrant father and white American mother, Willa longs for an uncomplicated history, one devoid of the racism she experiences due to her biracial identity and the bifurcations that always accompany being a child of divorce shuffled between two families, neither of which fully belong to her. Once she starts working for the Adriens, she begins to learn more about herself and the life she’s led up until now, finding that even when life is imperfect it can still be good.

Don’t expect any big reveals or melodramatics characteristic of “nanny fiction”. No husband-nanny adultery or child murder. No long-held secrets bubbling to the surface. If you’re looking for something more salacious like that, check out my Nefarious Nannies Reading List.

I Hope This Finds You Well: Poems by Kate Baer

I Hope This Finds You Well: Poems by Kate Baer

***Note: I was lucky enough to receive a free digital review copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher. You can read my review here.***

Publication Date: November 9th, 2021

Publisher: Harper Perennial

Page Count: 96

It’s a beacon of light as well as a sea of middle fingers raised high. Don’t miss it.

Kate Baer’s newest collection is nothing short of a reclamation. The “found poems” herein are crafted from missives sent to Baer online by detractors and fans alike. The detractors range from the annoying and intrusive to the outright abusive, and Baer takes no prisoners in transforming their vitriol into their vanquishment, their viciousness into her own sweet victory.

The detractors range from the annoying and intrusive to the outright abusive, and Baer takes no prisoners in transforming their vitriol into their vanquishment, their viciousness into her own sweet victory.

Baer’s experiences online are as old as the Internet itself. I’m sure the behaviors, if not the platforms themselves, date back much farther. The women living in the 21st century are dealing with the same crap that the women dealt with who were alive before Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue. The simple fact is men don’t like women who dare to be complex people in the public sphere. They prefer them to be silent and demure, to cow and coo, to be healthy but thin, outgoing yet deferential, smart yet never sassy, and above all, subservient. Well, pardon my French, but to hell with all of that!

Baer’s collection is perfect for anyone who has ever been subjected to unsolicited feedback about their words, their body, or their very existence. It’s a beacon of light as well as a sea of middle fingers raised high. Don’t miss it.

Bonus: Midtown Scholar Bookstore of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is hosting a livestream discussion between Kate Baer and Maggie Smith about Baer’s new book. It’s free and open to the public but requires registration, so if you’re interested, I’m posting the link below:

https://www.midtownscholar.com/calendar/2021/11/11/kate-baer-in-conversation-with-maggie-smith-i-hope-this-finds-you-well

Please note that while the event itself is free, Midtown is also selling signed copies of Baer’s book, which you can order here.

The Perishing: A Novel by Natashia Deón

The Perishing: A Novel by Natashia Deón

Publication Date: November 9th, 2021

Publisher: Counterpoint

Page Count: 320

Natashia Deón’s dazzling new novel was an early release pick for the Book of the Month Club and to be perfectly honest, the cover alone was enough for me to have it included in my box. The Perishing tells the story of Lou, an immortal Black woman who wakes up in an alley with no memory in 1930s Los Angeles. She has visions of a man’s face which she draws as she tries to make sense of who she is and where she came from. The premise immediately made me think of NBC’s Blindspot, as well any of a number of 40s films noir.

During the course of the novel, Lou also becomes the first female journalist for the LA Times, breaking stories of crime and vice during the era of Prohibition, which when you add in the fantasy elements make The Perishing a very intriguing read.

I am so giddily excited for this book and Natashia Deón in general. Is anyone else already casting the screen adaptation? Someone call Shonda Rhimes already and let’s get this going! *coughs* Janelle Monáe *coughs*

Bonus: Read Natashia Deón’s ‘The Perishing’ Takes Us on a Ride Through Time, Love, and Reckoning in America, an interview with Natashia Deón by Sarah Nelson for Shondaland

Will by Will Smith and Mark Manson

Will by Will Smith and Mark Manson

Publication Date: November 9th, 2021

Publisher: Penguin Press

Page Count: 432

🎤 West Philadelphia, born and raised 🎤

If you start singing this and the person you’re with doesn’t start singing it with you, that is a warning sign from God that you’d be remiss to ignore.

Will Smith first rose to prominence through his starring role on NBC’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show ran for six seasons and after its conclusion, Smith was able to transition from television to blockbuster films rather seamlessly. Now, in addition to being a producer and one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars, the Grammy Award winner and Academy Award nominee can add author to his CV.

Co-written with Mark Manson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Will is a celebrity memoir I’m very much looking forward to reading.

Bonus: Read The Fresh Prince of Belles-Lettres? Will Smith Has a Memoir. by Alexandra Jacobs for The New York Times

Feel Your Way Through: A Book of Poetry by Kelsea Ballerini

***Note: I was lucky enough to receive a free digital review copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher. You can read my review here.***

Feel Your Way Through: A Book of Poetry by Kelsea Ballerini

Publication Date: November 16th, 2021

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Page Count: 144

Anyone familiar with Kelsea Ballerini’s music knows she’s a gifted storyteller, and her abilities shine through just as strong in her poetry as they do in her songcraft. Following a recent spate of singer-celebrity poetry collections, Ballerini’s Feel Your Way Through is fearsome and original, baring her soul on every page. Is this collection going to win (or even be nominated) for a Pulitzer Prize? Of course not. But you don’t have to be Walt Whitman to say something worthwhile and true about the human experience. Honestly, the elitism and pedantry surrounding what qualifies as poetry, especially “good” poetry, is a crock of 🐴 💩 anyway. Herein, Ballerini tells the truth as she sees it, and that’s more than good enough for me.

These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett

These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett

Publication Date: November 23rd, 2021

Publisher: Harper

Page Count: 336

She is, in my opinion, one of the greatest living American nonfiction writers.

Publisher’s Weekly calls Ann Patchett’s newest book a “moving collection not easily forgotten,” but I don’t know if I have the emotional capacity to withstand a new essay collection by Ann Patchett, especially since Red (Taylor’s Version) drops on the 14th and 30 by Adele drops just five days later on the 19th. Ann Patchett’s writing always makes me feel some kind of way and judging from the snippets I’ve gleaned from These Precious Days, it will not be the exception to the rule.

Consider the first two sentences of this excerpt furnished to CBS News:

Did I tell you I loved my father, that he loved me? Contrary to popular belief, love does not need understanding to thrive.

Ann Patchett, These Precious Days: Essays

She has such an inimitable way of pulling the reader in, pushing them back, allowing them to flail for a little while, and then pulling them back in again. She is, in my opinion, one of the greatest living American nonfiction writers. In fact, the only writer I can currently think of who surpasses her in reticent emotional resonance is Joan Didion, long may she live.

Bonus: Read my review of Truth & Beauty, which I called “an exquisitely written and heartfelt evocation of a friendship”.

Don’t judge me if I don’t pick this one up until mid-December, although you can pretty much guarantee I’ll own it before then.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

The Nefarious Nannies Reading List

Some nannies are downright evil. They’ll slaughter you in your crib, seduce your dad, and surreptitiously drug your mom to the point where no one trusts her and she gets to become your new mommy (did anyone else see that Lifetime movie?).

Ah, nannies. Readers of bedtime stories and makers of snacks, kissers of boo-boos and sergeants of naps. Not every nanny, however, flits in like Julie Andrews insisting that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Some nannies are downright evil. They’ll slaughter you in your crib, seduce your dad, and surreptitiously drug your mom to the point where no one trusts her and she gets to become your new mommy (did anyone else see that Lifetime movie?). The Nefarious Nannies in these books are rotten to the core, or at least misguided to a destructive degree. Links for purchase are included!

#1: The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani

#2: The Au Pair by Emma Rous

#3: The Nanny: A Novel by Gilly Macmillan

#4: Bad Marie: A Novel by Marcy Dermansky

#5: What the Nanny Saw: A Novel by Fiona Neill

#6: Nanny Needed: A Novel by Georgina Cross

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 7th, 2021

The Nail by C.K. Williams

Some dictator or other had gone into exile, and now reports were coming about his regime,
the usual crimes, torture, false imprisonment, cruelty and corruption, but then a detail:
that the way his henchmen had disposed of enemies was by hammering nails into their skulls.
Horror, then, what mind does after horror, after that first feeling that you’ll never catch your breath,
mind imagines—how not be annihilated by it?—the preliminary tap, feels it in the tendons of the hand,
feels the way you do with your nail when you’re fixing something, making something, shelves, a bed;
the first light tap to set the slant, and then the slightly harder tap, to em-bed the tip a little more ...

No, no more: this should be happening in myth, in stone, or paint, not in reality, not here;
it should be an emblem of itself, not itself, something that would mean, not really have to happen,
something to go out, expand in implication from that unmoved mass of matter in the breast;
as in the image of an anguished face, in grief for us, not us as us, us as in a myth, a moral tale,
a way to tell the truth that grief is limitless, a way to tell us we must always understand
it’s we who do such things, we who set the slant, embed the tip, lift the sledge and drive the nail,
drive the nail which is the axis upon which turns the brutal human world upon the world.

© 1999 C.K. Williams. “The Nail” appeared as part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning collection Repair, which was published in 1999 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. It is available to purchase wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 6th, 2021

Autumn by Grace Paley

1

What is sometimes called a
tongue of flame
or an arm extended burning
is only the long
red and orange branch of
a green maple
in early September reaching
into the greenest field
out of the green woods at the
edge of which the birch trees
appear a little tattered tired
of sustaining delicacy
all through the hot summer re-
minding everyone (in
our family) of a Russian
song a story
by Chekhov or my father


2

What is sometimes called a
tongue of flame
or an arm extended burning
is only the long
red and orange branch of
a green maple
in early September reaching
into the greenest field
out of the green woods at the
edge of which the birch trees
appear a little tattered tired
of sustaining delicacy
all through the hot summer re-
minding everyone (in
our family) of a Russian
song a story by
Chekhov or my father on
his own lawn standing
beside his own wood in
the United States of
America saying (in Russian)
this birch is a lovely
tree but among the others
somehow superficial

© 1991 Grace Paley. “Autumn” first appeared in Long Walks and Intimate Talks by Grace Paley and Vera B. Williams, which was published in 1991 by The Feminist Press at the City University of New York. It was later included in Begin Again: The Collected Poems of Grace Paley, which was published in 1999 by The Feminist Press. You can read more about Grace Paley and her life and work here.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 5th, 2021

the sonnet-ballad by Gwendolyn Brooks

Oh mother, mother, where is happiness?
They took my lover's tallness off to war,
Left me lamenting. Now I cannot guess
What I can use an empty heart-cup for.
He won't be coming back here any more.
Some day the war will end, but, oh, I knew
When he went walking grandly out that door
That my sweet love would have to be untrue.
Would have to be untrue. Would have to court
Coquettish death, whose impudent and strange
Possessive arms and beauty (of a sort)
Can make a hard man hesitate—and change.
And he will be the one to stammer, "Yes."
Oh mother, mother, where is happiness?

Today’s poem is taken from “”Appendix to The Anniad: leaves from a loose-leaf war diary”, which first appeared in Annie Allen, published by Harper in 1949.

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) published more than twenty books of poetry during her lifetime, as well as works in other genres. She was the first Black woman named as consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress, a post now referred to as Poet Laureate. Among numerous awards and accolades, she was the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Award. You can read more about her life and work here.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: November 2nd, 2021

Women by Alice Walker

They were women then 
My mama’s generation
Husky of voice—stout of
Step
With fists as well as
Hands
How they battered down
Doors
And ironed
Starched white
Shirts
How they led
Armies
Headragged generals
Across mined
Fields
Booby-trapped
Ditches
To discover books
Desks
A place for us
How they knew what we
Must know
Without knowing a page
Of it
Themselves.

© Alice Walker. Alice Walker is one of the preeminent American writers of her generation. She is a novelist, short story writer, essayist, poet, and activist whose work, while critically-acclaimed and highly-lauded by members of the literary intelligentsia, far surpasses any words which mere mortals may bestow upon it. For her 1982 novel The Color Purple, Walker won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The Steven Spielberg-directed film adaptation was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and if you’re asking me, the fact that it didn’t win in any category is one of the biggest snubs in Oscars history.

I first read “Women” as a high school freshman, memorizing and reciting it for extra credit. Later on, it grew in significance for me when I read Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and learned that if not for Alice Walker, Hurston’s great body of work would probably have languished in obscurity for all time. Walker’s acknowledgment of the labor of her Black women foremothers in making her own life possible is a major theme throughout her body of work, and nowhere is it clearer than in today’s poem.

Further Reading

“How Alice Walker Created Womanism — The Movement That Meets Black Women Where Feminism Misses The Mark” by Camille Rahatt (blavity.com, February 4th, 2020)

“In Search of Zora Neale Hurston” by Alice Walker (Ms. Magazine, 1975)

“Still Searching Out Zora Neale Hurston” by Kyle Bachan (Ms. Magazine, February 2nd, 2011)

“Womanist Theology” by Emilie M. Townes, written for and included in the Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America by Rosemary Skinner Keller and Rosemary Radford Ruether, eds.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.