Everything below is from Tara:
The holidays always mark a lull for me that lets me read uninterrupted. Here are a few of the titles on my shelf that I thought might be good holiday gifts in fiction, poetry and books for kids. I’ll be curling up with them to avoid the cold this season.
The Fiction Section
Some Sing, Some Cry by ntozake shange & Ifa Bayeza is the first collaborative novel between these sisters. Bayeza is an accomplished playwright, and shange is the author of for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf.
Daughters of the Stone by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa tells the story of several generations of an Afro-Puerto Rican family facing their struggles and relying on traditions that affirm them. I heard Llanos-Figueroa speak and read from this novel. Her words on page and in person are lush and intense.
How to Escape from a Leper Colony by Tiphanie Yanique is a debut collection of short stories. This is on my winter reading list, but if her prize-winning chapbook “The Saving Work” is any indication of how amazing this collection is, then it’s worth reading!
The Poetry Section
I devour poetry, so, here are some collections I’d like to share.
Kaffir Lily by Bianca Spriggs is a debut collection filled with visceral lines and rich images.
Running the Dusk by Christian Campbell is another first poetry collection that recently won the U.K.’s coveted Aldeburgh Prize.
Ruth Forman’s Prayers Like Shoes is her third collection. Prayers Like Shoes is published by Whit Press, a small press for work by women involved with the Hedgebrook writers retreat.
Skin, Inc. is his second collection that features varied images by the author. Ellis topples the well-worn notions of identity politics and performance poetry.
Conversion by Remica Bingham won the Naomi Long Madgett Prize a couple of years ago, but I think this is a book that speaks as a close observer of the world who notices family, history, land and the literature that shaped her.
Books for Young Readers
I recommend Virginia Hamilton’s The People Who Could Fly, She Stories, and Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush since Christmas is for the kids! Keep Climbing, Girls by the late Beah Richards is a book that I’ve given to little girls that I know. It may be good for the women and girls in your life too. If you don’t know Beah Richards, she gave the moving monologue in movie “Beloved” about loving and kissing your own hands.
I’m looking forward to checking out Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon. This fictional account of young Zora Neale Hurston as a detective has me excited about her adventures. I haven’t seen a young black detective since Billy Jo Jive and Suzy Sunset were on “Sesame Street.”