Mouths of rain : an anthology of Black lesbian thought

Format: Print Book 2021
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Winner, Lambda Literary Award in LGBTQ Anthology
Winner, Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction, Publishing Triangle Awards
A Ms. magazine, Refinery29, and Lambda Literary Most Anticipated Read of 2021

A groundbreaking collection tracing the history of intellectual thought by Black Lesbian writers, in the tradition of The New Press's perennial seller Words of Fire

African American lesbian writers and theorists have made extraordinary contributions to feminist theory, activism, and writing. Mouths of Rain, the companion anthology to Beverly Guy-Sheftall's classic Words of Fire, traces the long history of intellectual thought produced by Black Lesbian writers, spanning the nineteenth century through the twenty-first century.

Using "Black Lesbian" as a capacious signifier, Mouths of Rain includes writing by Black women who have shared intimate and loving relationships with other women, as well as Black women who see bonding as mutual, Black women who have self-identified as lesbian, Black women who have written about Black Lesbians, and Black women who theorize about and see the word lesbian as a political descriptor that disrupts and critiques capitalism, heterosexism, and heteropatriarchy. Taking its title from a poem by Audre Lorde, Mouths of Rain addresses pervasive issues such as misogynoir and anti-blackness while also attending to love, romance, "coming out," and the erotic.

Contributors include:
Barbara Smith
Beverly Smith
Bettina Love
Dionne Brand
Cheryl Clarke
Cathy J. Cohen
Angelina Weld Grimke
Alexis Pauline Gumbs
Audre Lorde
Dawn Lundy Martin
Pauli Murray
Michelle Parkerson
Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
Alice Walker
Jewelle Gomez

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Jones traces "the long history of love between Black women" in this wide-ranging, celebratory anthology. Documenting "the purview of the poet, blues woman, essayist, and critic," Jones collects cultural criticism, theory, personal essay, and poetry from 1909 to 2019. The pieces are organized into five sections: "Uses of the Erotic" advances Audre Lorde's writing (in her essay of the same name) on the "suppression of the erotic"; "Interlocking Oppressions and Identity Politics" sees "Black lesbians articulate the complexity of embodying a multiplicitous self," as Jones writes in the introduction; "Coming Out and Stepping Into" focuses on personal tales of coming out; "The Sacred" is centered on spirituality and ritual; and "Radical Futurities" looks forward. Each features seminal writings from authors including Lorde, Barbara Smith, and Alice Walker, as well as up-and-coming writers, among them cultural critic Bettina Love, who expounds on the subversive power of the word ratchet to "examine the multiple intersections of Black and queer identity constructions within the space of hip hop," and Arisa White, who writes an innovative "poetic drama for 4 voices." Jones's inspiring and prodigious anthology is striking. (Feb.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects African American lesbians -- Literary collections.
African American lesbians -- Social conditions.
American literature -- African American authors.
American literature -- Women authors.
Lesbians' writings, American.
American literature -- 20th century.
American literature -- 21st century.
Publisher New York :The New Press,2021
Contributors Jones, Briona Simone, editor.
Language English
Description xxx, 363 pages ; 23 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 361-363).
ISBN 9781620975763
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