What does it mean to be young, Black, female, intelligent, gifted with second sight, on your way to a Ph.D. and in love for the first time? The Journey presents us with exactly this young woman. ... More > The pivotal question becomes is she sane and he deceitful, or has she lost her mind? The answer is both.
Not an easy, cohesive ride, the narrative thread of an African American female mystic falling deeply in love with a white psychiatrist is complicated by a gently suggested history of abuse, graduate school, and the subtle racism of still largely white academia. The Journey strokes the American psyche from within a very personal story of love and vision: she is in love; he is not, but he leads her in a merry dance, never quite revealing what emotion lies behind his warm brown eyes.< Less
Sexual abuse happens. Domestic violence happens. We know it happens. We have child protective services. We watch Law and Order: SVU. We are surrounded by sex in our media, and we are surrounded by... More > sexual violence in our media. Yet I have turned to the work of Toi Derricotte because we are not surrounded by sexual violence in our literary criticism, because we are not discussing sexual violence in our college classrooms, because the work of a poet like Derricotte, a poet who reveals the long, difficult trajectory of the emergence of voice, of the emergence of a healthy, vibrant, bisexual self, is largely ignored by those of us in the academy who contribute articles to that grand behemoth otherwise known as the Modern Language Association's International Bibliography. The Black poetic feminism of Toi Derricotte works on this silence in a variety of ways. Read on, and perhaps learn a great deal from her journey.< Less
Dr. Niama L. Williams writes books that describe her life to give others reassurance that their thoughts, perceptions and feelings are not abnormal, insane or unique. In this text, she tackles the... More > bear of homelessness as a Ph.D. with no job and no savings. Her armor thickened only by faith and 11 published books under her belt, she takes on the women and leaders of Sheila Dennis House and barely survives, yet leaves ennobled, empowered, and sure that she will never run away from a fight again.< Less
She is on the run, and doesn't know it. She is running to a freedom she has always wanted, but does not know how to claim. Her inner wildness is finally surfacing, but she has limited time to... More > explore it; is on unsure feet as it rears its head and surveys the territory.
She only knows that she must have it, this freedom, again and again and again.< Less
Soul Work. The people one loses one's head over. The faces that haunt you long after death--death of love, death of affection, cessation of passion. The countenances and spirits that occupy... More > cherished space between heart and lung and consciousness: Niama Williams gives voice to both, puts in words the entities--water, rain, that psychiatrist who took your heart, the glen in the outback where you sought to escape him--that make us speechless.
Travel with her as she puts names to the unnamable, as she affixes words to that which had struck us dumb.
Find your tongue. Watch her lash out.< Less
The women she's known and loved. The women who've raised her. The Brown Women in literary works who've seared their stories into her memory. Women who have survived, women who ensure the survival... More > of others. Women who love when love consistently threatens to walk out of the door. Women who create where only barrenness is expected to exist.< Less
She's on the run and she doesn't quite know who is pursuing. Is it the man with the unrecognizable face? The boy with the eyes that terrify? The man dressed as a campesino who doubles as The... More > Interrogator's assistant? Who IS pursuing Cassie Daniels and what is her real mission in Calido?
Sojourn in Calidia takes us through urban landscape, steamy jungle and a variety of human consciousnesses--some of which we hope never to see again--as we tease out this young Black woman's journey in a land not of her birth but definitely of her spirit.< Less
Is the drop-dead gorgeous psychiatrist in love or is some other far more nefarious plot afoot? The Journey pulls us in and leaves us wondering.
Told she was schizophrenic at 19, it takes a trip to... More > an unexpected homeland for the real truth to sink in: she is not crazy, but psychic.
Raised by a degreed registered nurse and thus devoted to Western medicine, the hardest person to convince is herself, but by the end of Detective Fiction, the game between her self, her spiritual helpers, and the doppelganger who refuses to leave her alone becomes cold, calculating, and a clear risk to her survival.< Less
Chris Abani. Barry Manilow. Wynton Marsalis. Jerry Quickley. Jody Kuykendall. The already famous and the one on her way up. Articles in the newspaper, paparazzi bait, sought out for the alumni... More > newsletter, for international halls of fame, for Pulitzers, Emmys, Grammys; recipients of some, winners of many.
But what of the poet, toiling away in her room, alone, who watches, understands, yet never feels a part of their world? What of the poet who watches their performances, sees beneath their words, their music, imagines the pain that created the art, uses her understanding to convince herself to, yes, live one more day, but that one day, that particular day, makes another choice?< Less
Dr. Niama Williams' Steven is a psychological triumph. This long overdue Song of Survival, punctuated by the cataclysmic overtures of epiphany, minimalist agreement, and happenstance, is proof that... More > the arrival of the truth does not always come via verbal messenger. From the beginning with "Schindler's List," Dr. Williams asks the film’s director to explain, “robbing a people of their origins." She poignantly points out that Middle Passage descendants live without a traceable identity and unlike the majority, “…cannot fabricate what was deliberately stamped out of existence." Dr. Williams' text provides a tracing of the indelible markings each of us makes on the other, and on the collective consciousness of American society.< Less