Publication Date: 15-Jun-09 | ISBN: 9781844713110 | Trim Size: 216 x 140 mm | Extent: 100pp | Format: Paperback
UK Distribution: | USA Distribution: | Publishing Status: Active
The import of sound and music, cultural iconography, and the fine-spun image are pulsing throughout Cherryl Floyd-Miller’s third collection of poems, Exquisite Heats. She explores the infinite manifestations of heat in the human experience. She moves comfortably from issues of public history and personal identity to the musings of revered icons. R&B legend Rick James speaks of impropriety and addiction, Marvin Gaye reveals his aesthetic struggles as a popular artist, Billie Holiday gives voice lessons, Alice Walker’s Celie Johnson boils grits, and Joe Frazier recounts the night he beat Muhammad Ali.
Employing persona poems, ars poetica, the blues, sestinas, ghazals, sonnets and narrative free verse, Floyd-Miller proves her poetic skill through a wide range of form. In the award-winning poem, “Voodoo Chicken,” she lures you to take a sultry plunge into daring language and bewitching subject matter. But as she warns in the opening of this collection: Careful. “Nothing is there to catch you.”
VIEW EXCERPT AS PDF
Click here to view a sample (74 KB)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgements; PART ONE; Trapeze: The Greatest Show on Earth; One.; Two.; Three.; Four.; Feng Shui; Gray: 1981; Is; Weaned: Breaking the Habit of Pork; First trimester://; Second trimester://; Third trimester://; Character Language; Otherness; Fall of the House of Dora; Clearance; Orange; Boys Named Peaches; Hush Now, Don’t Complain: Po’ Folks’ Sonnets; Say-So; There is No Other Phrasing for Ashy; Heritage; Or; Reasons Why At Thirty Something, A Southern Hoodoo Celibate Biscuit-Quilting Mother Of Two, Butternut Squash Breasted, First-Born Child Of A Blues Farmer And A Pork Salt, Geechee-Girl Black Bottom Princess, A Healer Full Of Belly Laughs and Constant Light; PART TWO; Burnt Cork Bop; Clay; Josephine; Voice Lesson from Eleanora Fagan; Super Freak; PART THREE; News of the weird: Penis roams marta train; Darfur; Souvenirs; Skunk; Heats; PART FOUR; Night Is Given; Unknuckled; The Beautiful, Needful Thing; Burgeon; Something called a wife-beater; Defecting: A Bop for Exit Signs; Elimination Art; Cum Tender; Childless, An Abridged Blues; PART FIVE; Jo Ha Kyu; Seersucker; In Another Life, A Bluesman; Salamander; Rhythm Method; Love Case Study No. 12; Churn; Snake Oil; Afterspotting; Voodoo Chicken; Celie in Atlanta
PRAISE FOR THIS BOOK
“The heats in Exquisite Heats are exquisite indeed, each one a discovery of heat source, and I, like a plant needing a light, stretch to bask in each illumination. These necessary plunges into heat become in Cherryl Floyd-Miller’s hot hands the repeated proving that we are alive each time a reason to doubt comes along. The ecstasies of intimacies that Floyd-Miller exalts … do reach us, the fires of humanity and the small heats of love, all of which can burn out, leaving behind extraordinary textures and patterns of ash which is the extraordinary substance of these poems. This is the ash that is as prevalent as dust, for the history of existence, so far as we know now, is from a heat source; the universe may have burned into being. Floyd-Miller’s poems echo that burning; [her] ‘root-beet-tinged elbow is bright cinder that burns every day.’ ” —
“The poetry of Cherryl Floyd-Miller possesses a bottomless range: formalism that remains fresh in language, lyricism that speaks beyond its music, and narratives with characters we’ll never forget. These poems hold reverie, history and present moments in images that burn beneath every line; scenes develop and move thorough time seamlessly. The language is not only heated, indeed, but there is also a management of life and a spiritual quest that transcends aesthetics.” —
PRAISE FOR PREVIOUS BOOKS
“When you open UTTERANCE: A MUSEOLOGY OF KIN, know Cherryl Floyd-Miller is a woman tending her tree of blood, a poet telling stories that are heartbreaking and headstrong like the best blues—know this new poet has ‘revolutions of [her] own to start.’” —
“The thing that really drew me to her work was her poetic style and authentic perspective: She is a North Carolina native writing about North Carolina. This perspective is evident in her sophisticated understanding of Southern culture and her ability to articulate it with details that ring with truth.” —
“You've gotten us into some serious shit.” —
Cherryl Floyd-Miller is an American poet, playwright and fiber artist. A native of the Carolinas, she is noted for exploring cultural and feminine themes through folklore and sound devices. She has written two previous volumes of poems, Utterance: A Museology of Kin and Chops, which won a 2005 AIGA Gold SEED Award. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, Poemeleon, Terminus and MiPoesias. A grant/fellowship recipient of Poets & Writers, Inc., Caldera, Idyllwild Summer in Poetry, Cave Canem, the Indiana Arts Commission and the Vermont Studio Center, she is a freelance writer and teaches independent writing courses in her community.