Soul Culture: Black Poets, Books, and Questions that Grew Me Up

Category: Book
By (author): Bingham-Risher, Remica
  LITERARY COLLECTIONS / American / African American
  POETRY / American / African American
Publisher: Beacon Press
Published: August 2022
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 248
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in
Our Price:
$ 36.95
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Examines firsthand the lives of legendary Black writers who made a way out of no way to illuminate a road map for budding creators desiring to follow in their footsteps

Acclaimed Cave Canem poet and essayist Remica Bingham-Risher interweaves personal essays and interviews she conducted over a decade with 10 distinguished Black poets, such as Lucille Clifton, Sonia Sanchez, and Patricia Smith, to explore the impact of identity, joy, love, and history on the artistic process. Each essay is thematically inspired, centered on one of her interviews, and uses quotes drawn from her talks to showcase their philosophies. Each essay also delves into how her own life and work are influenced by these elders. Essays included are these:

· "blk/wooomen revolution"
· "Girls Loving Beyoncé and Their Names"
· "The Terror of Being Destroyed"
· "Standing in the Shadows of Love"
· "Revision as Labyrinth"

Noting the frustrating tendency for Black artists to be pigeonholed into the confines of various frameworks and ideologies-Black studies, women's studies, LGBTQIA+ studies, and so on-Bingham-Risher reveals the multitudes contained within Black poets, both past and present. By capturing the radical love ethic of Blackness amid incessant fear, she has amassed not only a wealth of knowledge about contemporary Black poetry and poetry movements but also brings to life the historical record of Black poetry from the latter half of the 20th century to the early decades of the 21st.

Examining cultural traditions, myths, and music from the Four Tops to Beyoncé, Bingham-Risher reflects on the enduring gifts of art and community. If you've ever felt alone on your journey into the writing world, the words of these poets are for you.
Review Quote*"This is not an objective endorsement of Soul Culture, so please don't expect that-instead, this is a praise song for Remica Bingham-Risher. This is a gratitude moment for her devotion to Black poetry and Black poets. This is an embrace for a ‘sweet, loving baby' who has assembled here a beautiful community, who names our souls in wonder and so much grace. How I love this woman, her genius, her immense spirit! How grateful I am to be part of this remarkable gathering!"
-Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, author of The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois

"This book is miraculous! Remica Bingham-Risher dives deep into not only Black poetry and philosophy, but also the lived lives of Black poets and the insights that are found there. From these troves, Bingham-Risher weaves together a book of knowledge, illumination, and song unlike any I have known but that I might have dreamed."
-Elizabeth Alexander

"In Soul Culture, Remica Bingham-Risher has produced a chronicle of some of her important influences in the form of these interviews conducted with several of them, and in expressing her concrete gratitude with this book she has also produced another important documentation of how African American poets have become a realized force in American literature."
-Afaa M. Weaver

"Soul Culture is the nourishment, the love, the light, the dark, the beauty. With a genius all her own, and in the blackest ink, Remica Bingham-Risher has woven us a gorgeous, intergenerational and polyvocal history of kinship, perseverance, Black poetry, and love. I laugh, I cry, I am swung open by her radical, radiant attention. This book is a devotion. I want to share it with everyone I love.&rdquo
-Aracelis Girmay
Biographical NoteRemica Bingham-Risher is a Cave Canem fellow and Affrilachian poet. Her work has been published in the New York Times, the Writer's Chronicle, New Letters, Callaloo, and Essence, among other journals. She is the author of three volumes of her own poetry: Conversion, winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award; What We Ask of Flesh, shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Award; and Starlight & Error, winner of the Diode Editions Book Award. She lives in Norfolk, Virginia, with her husband and children.