THIS WEEK’S OTHER FEATURED BOOKS, “QUEEN OF SPADES,” BY MICHAEL SHOU-YUNG SHUM, AND “HENRY,” BY KATRINA SHAWYER. CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST, OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR’S PAGE.
THE BOOK: Haint
PUBLISHED IN: 2016
THE AUTHOR: Teri Ellen Cross Davis
THE EDITOR: None
THE PUBLISHER: Gival Press, http://www.givalpress.com/
SUMMARY: Haint is a book of poems that touch on identity, nationality, womanhood, fertility, infertility, and so much more.
THE BACK STORY: These are poems that have haunted me for years. For me, when an issue sticks with me and I cannot let it go, I tend to write about it.
WHY THIS TITLE?: While there is a title poem called Haint, this title speaks to the uneasy way poems can haunt you.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? If they are looking for poetry that digs under the skin, is accessible, clear and lyrical, this is the book for them.
REVIEW COMMENTS: “What Teri Ellen Cross Davis writes in her poem I’ll Be There is an apt description of the power and yearning this book is: ‘It’s a breaking heart’s last hope of reunion….’ Although heartbreak is the origin of so many of these poems, it’s love that makes them go. Love to which they plead and aspire and pray.“ —Ross Gay, 2016 Kingsley Tufts Prize, 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award, author of Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude
—Cornelius Eady, Miller Family Chair, The University of Missouri
“Science tells us that skin is our largest organ. Poet Teri Cross Davis reminds us that skin is both collective history and individual testimony—a maze, a frustration, a celebration. Her extraordinary debut, Haint, asks us to consider every consequence of the female form, from the quiet ecstasies of Morning Ritual to the methodical way a woman cuts an apple for her dying father-in-law; pulling no punches, an Ode to Now ‘n’ Laters is chased with a wrenching consideration of pre-teen pregnancy. Davis is a master of shifting dictions to surprise. In Odalisque, we venture the perspective not of the central white nude, but of the black maid forced to stand naked behind her: ‘You bleed like I bleed / but we ain’t friends.’ A few pages later, the sonnet Knell invites, ‘Haunt this empty space if you will.’ This collection, which hums and startles, will echo in the reader for months to come.” —Sandra Beasley, author of I Was the Jukebox and Count the Waves
AUTHOR PROFILE: Teri Ellen Cross Davis is the author of Haint, published by Gival Press and winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. She is a Cave Canem fellow and has attended the Soul Mountain Writer’s Retreat, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is on the Advisory Council of Split This Rock (a biennial poetry festival in Washington DC), a semi-finalist judge for the National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Out Loud and a member of the Black Ladies Brunch Collective. Her work has been published in many anthologies including: Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade, Growing Up Girl, Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC, Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets & Emcees, The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks and Not Without Our Laughter: poems of joy, humor, and sexuality. Her work can be read in the following journals: ArLiJo, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Delaware Poetry Review, Fledging Rag, Gargoyle, Harvard Review, Natural Bridge, North American Review, MiPOesias, Poet Lore, Tin House, Torch, and Sligo Journal. She has work forthcoming in Little Patuxent Review and the Black Girl Magic anthology. She is the Poetry Coordinator for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. and lives in Maryland with her husband, poet Hayes Davis and their two children.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: I ordered this book chronologically as I wanted to guide the reader on this journey of selfhood through poetry. There are persona poems, a couple of sonnets, and a Bop! My interests vary, as does my poems, and when it comes to writing, I am not afraid. I will venture to dark and light places, it is always about staying true to the poem.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: More than a few poems are online- check them out here- https://www.poetsandparents.com/teri-s-poems
WHERE TO BUY IT: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Gival press website and on me, if you happen to be at a reading!
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: My website has my contact information but you can also follow me on Twitter –TCD@cross_davis