This breathtakingly honest collection of writings is alive with deeply felt and beautifully expressed emotions. It should be read and savored over and over again.” —Wilma Mankiller, former Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation

the new black is a book of stunning urgency and invention.”—poet Terrance Hayes




From Songs from the House of Death, Or How to Make It Through to the End of a Relationship

4.
The weight of rain is unbearable to the sky
eventually. Just as desire will
burn a hole through the sky
and fall to earth.

From A MAP TO THE NEXT WORLD © 2000 by Joy Harjo, published by W.W. Norton and Company. Used with permission.



From ode to my blackness

i dig down deep and there you are            at the root of my blues
you’re all thick and dark, enveloping         the root of my blues
seem like it’s so hard to let you go           when i got nothing to lose

From THE NEW BLACK © 2011 by Evie Shockley, published by Wesleyan University Press. Used with permission.