dark // thing – Ashley M. Jones

Ashley and I are on book tour together, so I know her poems very well. They hold up. Every time I hear them, I’m thrilled by her description of her mother cutting collards, incensed by the everyday racism she confronts, and wowed by the variety of forms she employs. Like me, you’ll want to reread these poems again and again.

MEND – Kwoya Fagin Maples

I’ve always appreciated Newton for acknowledging that he had to stand on the shoulders of giants to make his discoveries. I admire Kwoya more for how she, with such beauty and compassion, honors the voiceless, and sometimes nameless women, who endured gynecological experimentation.

The Many Names for Mother – Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach

These are gorgeously intimate poems that get right down to what is real, what others wouldn’t tell you. Reading these poems is like talking with a captivatingly disarming friend, a friend who opens your heart to all that is human and essential. Julia is that friend, that poet.

Faces that Fled the Wind – Alycia Pirmohamed

These are sensuous poems, where a body bends like a fig and prayer is both heron and a marbled neck. I read it for the beauty and surprise of Alycia’s deft transformations.

Epistle, Osprey – Geri Doran

I want to live inside these poems, take up their meander along shores, wonder at the contours of our world, and quest after these discoveries. I keep this collection close.

Tina Mozelle Braziel, author of Known by Salt (Anhinga Press) and Rooted by Thirst (Porkbelly Press), has been awarded the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry, an Alabama State Council on the Arts fellowship, and an artist residency at Hot Springs National Park. She earned her MFA at the University of Oregon. She currently serves a Magic City Poetry Festival Eco Fellow with the Cahaba River Society and as the Director of the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop for high school students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She and her husband, novelist James Braziel, live and write in a glass cabin that they are building by hand on Hydrangea Ridge.

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