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Mid-Week Break

Menu about bay area literary calendar ongoing readings profiles of local authors submit an event. Details Date: November 14 Time: pm - pm. Author of "I Hate the Internet", an international bestseller set mostly in San Francisco and inspired by the tech-fueled gentrification that has so rapidly changed the city, Jarett Kobek reads from his new novel "Only Americans Burn in Hell.

Her five full-length collections were published by Carolina Wren Press: Masks , Dead on Arrival , Conjure Blues: Poems , singing a tree into dance , and breath of the song The room was overcrowded to the point that many people, including a state senator, sat on the floor beneath the podium. Others stood in the aisles and sat two by two on each step of the two flights of stairs leading up to the sales floor. It was crowded, it was hot, it was uncomfortable.

And it was absolutely wonderful. Green is a poet whose poems and voice have equal power. When she reads, her audience is compelled to listen, so it should be no surprise that the voice in her chapbook-length poem titled i want to undie you is very strong. This is the voice of a mother whose daughter has died much too young, and it is the voice of a poet calling out her lament.

This is no ordinary book of poetry, either in content or structure. The poem is published alongside photographs of Imani taken at different ages that photographer Barbara Tyroler altered with layers of texture and shafts of light to ethereal effect. The font is also larger than in a typical book, and there is a lot of white space. In the larger font. At about the same time that a period appears, the reader realizes that there are no page numbers.

These two things combine to lend a breathless, desperate quality to the poem. The white space offers the only breaks for the reader, but those breaks are not a resting place. They are an absence. The use of anaphora creates this emotional response in the reader.

ECU Poet Amber Flora Thomas reading from her new book - East Carolina University

This is the unending lament of the motherpoet whose child has died. She is made to close her eyes, to take a deep breath. To really look at the corresponding photo that shows a very young Imani wearing what appears to be a cowrie shell necklace, whose face and body are obscured by four slanted rays of light as though through window blinds.

Freely available

See more of her art in NCLR and and on her website. She earned an MEd from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with emphasis on visual communication and community arts development and an MFA in Imaging and Digital Arts from the University of Maryland where she studied photography and videography, then joined the faculty of the art department and taught traditional wet darkroom, digital imaging, and lens based critical theory. She is the recipient of over twenty-five arts and community development grants. In , she relocated to her hometown, Chapel Hill, NC. See more works from this series on the facing page.

I tiptoe and flinch around every corner. Over my shoulder is where my eyes live. This body I carry, not mine. My chest heaves all day. High yellow. Light Bright. Almost White. Whatever color they call me — his gaze burns me, so does his hands. I am kept closer than his wife. He leaves me nothing but bruised blue. I, House Nigger — not one step up from, but another kind of down. House be another way to say field. He makes me feel like the dirt he walks on. Upturned and plowed.

His teeth metal rakes across my skin. I bleed and breed. Chains seen or unseen, my feet, still shackled. This is not the life the Almighty meant for me, but no choice is what I got. The only place I run far is my mind. Every scream adds up to flee.


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My feet become my mind. They carry me to where Grandma stay. She free. Whatever color I am called — his gaze finds me. This body I carry, not my own.

Grandma attics me away. This attic feels like a pine box. I am a bent star dwelling in shuttered light. So small my world. Low roof and tight walls make like my grave this attic a pine box closing. But in my chest, above his reach, the less I feel like a kept thing. I feel an opening. This room dark most days, but I see myself clear. I wiggle. I weave. I work — not seven days, seven weeks, but seven years of bearing heat and cold.

Where rats bite — the only touch I know. I am bent by this stay, but I fix my mind for when that door opens. I am ready to fling myself wide and take up any space in this world with head, arms, and legs five-pointed and star-spread. Sketch For Harriet E. Wilson With a determined hand, write the wrong. Right it! Press your free hand upon parchment.

Spill ink like storm clouds that clot what your soul cannot hold. Catch what history hurls. Double your fist in defiance, unfurl your world into long lines. Get straight to the point: Pen every deed. Record the heavy dreams that woke you each morning. Press down. The paper can bear your weight. Make the page speak of back break, the quill quiver with nothing less than the meat of it.

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Whip the naked flesh of the past like you were slashed. Bleed deep — gash history, even if it must stand on hobbled legs. Draw the face, so we may stare at the rotten-teeth truth. Give yourself a pristine mouth to say your piece, a doorway. Her poems have previously been selected as Applewhite finalists and then published in NCLR and , and she had two more finalists in the competition, one of which was selected for third place.

These poems and an interview with this poet will be published in the print issue.

Stand in your place.