December Read of the Month: “Homelight” by Lola Haskins

The poems in Lola Haskins’ newest collection, Homelight (Charlotte Lit Press 2023), are equally elegant and eloquent in their graceful blend of theme, imagery, and language. Elegant in their refined, fluent use of words and eloquent in their visions and messages, these are luminous poems. While some poems are nearly haiku-short, others contain many stanzas, […]

October Read of the Month: “The Stockwell Letters” by Jacqueline Friedland 

Dramatic conflicts caused by the Fugitive Slave Act are central to Jacqueline Friedland’s excellent, thoroughly researched historical novel, The Stockwell Letters. The Fugitive Slave Act put all Black citizens at risk of kidnapping, even if they had been born free, causing many to exit the United States: “Nearly three thousand Negroes had crossed the border […]

September Read of the Month: “Sister, Mother, Warrior” by Vanessa Riley

Vanessa Riley offers a stunning picture of Haiti’s history and founding through the eyes of several key women in her novel Sister Mother Warrior (William Morrow 2022). Riley’s superb research and careful crafting of characters bring the story of Haiti’s liberation from foreign rule to life. Riley, the 2023 Georgia Author of the Year for […]

August Read of the Month: “Moonrise Over New Jessup” by Jamila Minnicks

Moonrise Over New Jessup (Algonquin Books 2023) is a beautifully written, thought-provoking novel about courageous people at the cusp of historical changes. It is the debut novel of Jamila Minnicks, a lawyer and writer. Within all its layers of conflict, it rings with authenticity. Set in a fictional all-Black community of New Jessup in Alabama […]

July Read of the Month: “Deeper than African Soil” by Faith Eidse

Deeper than African Soil (Masthof Press, 2023) by Faith Eidse is a most unusual and exceptionally fine memoir. No wonder Florida State University recognized it with the Kingsbury Award, given annually to a graduate student who demonstrates lasting intellectual value in writing, and with the English Department’s Ann Durham Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award. Several chapters […]

Read of the Month: “Red Clay Suzie” by Jeffrey Dale Lofton

Named as one of the most anticipated LGBTQIA+ books of 2022 by Lambda Lambda Literary and winner of the Seven Hills Literary Prize for Fiction, Red Clay Suzie (Post Hill Press) was absolutely captivating. Calling it a page-turner does not do it justice, though its short chapters, sometimes only a few pages in length, make […]