Beacon Press: Anarcha Speaks
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Anarcha Speaks

A History in Poems

Author: Dominique Christina   Foreword by: Tyehimba Jess

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 Series

Established in 1978, the National Poetry Series is a literary awards program which sponsors the publication of five books of poetry each year. The manuscripts, solicited through an annual Open Competition, are selected by poets of national stature and published by a distinguished group of trade, university, and small presses.
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“Beautifully sparse lines and unsparing imagery . . . A harrowingly visceral, incomparable poetry collection.”

“Lyrical descriptions that showcase emotional vulnerability.”
Publishers Weekly

“Christina uses rhythmic, throbbing, vervy language that lets readers live Anarcha’s tragic story.”
Library Journal

“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

Foreword by Tyehimba Jess

Section I: She Is a Woman Therefore She Remembers

Anarcha Will Speak and It Will Be So
Ghosts I Got
The Preacher Give Us the Story of Job
Massa’s House
Don’t Wanna Hear It But
From a Star I See Everything
Black Gold
The Chil’ren Might Know
They Bringin in More
Anarcha Feels Movement
One Boy Named Montgomery
Lucy Made a Girl
She Need Help I Caint Manage It
The Unquenchable Season
Pronounce Me Lord
I Shoulda Known Heaven First
When I Get There
She Got Further Than Anybody
I Prove
Massa Wants to Know
A Powerful Spell
Alabama but I Don’t Know It
The Missus, Big with Somebody Too
What Do It Take
Danger on the Other Side
Little Bird Don’t Know Nuthin
This Time It Hurts
Anarcha Dreams, OR How You Know You Ain’t Gone
the midwife is no midwife
The Drowned Boy, Call Him John
The Doctor by Now
Marion Sims, the Doctor
Anarcha Makes Milk Anyway
Dr. Sims Comes Back, Makes an Offer
Anarcha Will Leave in the Morning
The Etymology of Anarchy
Doctor/Massa Wants More

Section II: The Juxtaposition of Experience

Blood Misbehaves: One Surgery as Anarcha Sees It
Blood Misbehaves: The Surgery as Dr. Sims Sees It
Not Dead but . . .
How Doctor Sims Sees His Work
How Anarcha Sees His Work
Dr. Sims Makes Something New
When the Quiver Stops, Ain’t No Jesus
Dr. Sims Will Buy 9 More
Anarcha, in Position
Dr. Sims Explains
Dr. Sims Comes Clean
Anarcha, Anarcha Come On Out . . .
New Gals, No Good
Things Past Tellin . . .
A Wizard and His Magic, Nothing More
No Magic, No How
The Doctor Figures It Out
The Doctor Gives Her Opium After
First Is Last: How the Doctor Sees It
First Is Last: How Anarcha Sees It

Acnowledgments: A Dedication

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Anarcha Speaks

ISBN: 978-080700921-5
Publication Date: 10/16/2018
Size:6 x 9 Inches (US)
Price:  $16.00
Format: Paperback
Availability: In stock.