Anarcha Speaks: A History in Poems (National Poetry Series) (Paperback)
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The reimagined story of Anarcha, an enslaved Black woman, subjected to medical experiments by Dr. Marion Sims. Selected by Tyehimba Jess as a National Poetry Series winner.
In this provocative collection by award-winning poet and artist Dominique Christina, the historical life of Anarcha is personally reenvisioned. Anarcha was an enslaved Black woman who endured experimentation and torture at the hands of Dr. Marion Sims, more commonly known as the father of modern gynecology. Christina enables Anarcha to tell her story without being relegated to the margins of history, as a footnote to Dr. Sims’s life. These poems are a reckoning, a resurrection, and a proper way to remember Anarcha . . . and grieve her.
About the Author
Dominique Christina was a classroom teacher at the secondary and post-secondary level for ten years. She was the National Poetry Champion in 2011 and Women of the World Slam Champion in 2012 and 2014. She is the author of The Bones, The Breaking, The Balm; They Are All Me; and This Is Woman’s Work. She has been a featured speaker at hundreds of colleges and universities nationally and internationally.
“Beautifully sparse lines and unsparing imagery . . . A harrowingly visceral, incomparable poetry collection.”
“Lyrical descriptions that showcase emotional vulnerability.”
“Christina uses rhythmic, throbbing, vervy language that lets readers live Anarcha’s tragic story.”
“Dominique’s poems paint brutal truths. Beautiful truths. They seek to uncover a history hidden under the skin. In an era in which such truths are in danger of being forgotten, Dominique’s voice is an essential. Her stories are an unearthing, the soil that connects us to our past, a lens through which, if we look close enough, we may see something that directs us to a kinder future.”
—Staceyann Chin, author of The Other Side of Paradise
“This is a beautiful book of poetry by an amazing poet. I can’t even begin to grasp the courage it took to write these poems.”
—Jimmy Santiago Baca, author of A Place to Stand
“Dominique Christina has the courage to use her imagination, and her empathy, to conceive of an alternative world, in the midst of this one, using language to provide inspiration and instruction so people can straighten their backs and make the world a better place.”
—Cornel West, author of Race Matters
“In inventive and soul-deep narratives, Christina has wholly encompassed the breath and breadth of Anarcha, who steps out of an enslaved and pummeled body to reclaim her root in the world.”
—Patricia Smith, author of Incendiary Art