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Sleeping under the tree of life : poetry and short fiction

Author: Sheree R Thomas
Publisher: Seattle, Washington : Aqueduct Press, 2016. ©2016
Series: Conversation pieces (Aqueduct Press), v. 50.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Mixed form : English : First edition
Summary:
Sleeping Under the Tree of Life evokes the realm of ancestral knowledge with a deep respect for the natural world, a love of language, and an invitation for survival, and asks: Who survives without being transformed? Beneath luminous layers of imagery and mythology, science and nature, fantasy and the recounting of history, is the grace and tenderness of a poet's heart, the unwavering gaze of an oracle's vision, and
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Genre/Form: Short stories
Fantasy fiction
Poetry
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Sheree R Thomas
ISBN: 9781619761117 1619761114
OCLC Number: 958656055
Description: iii, 126 pages ; 21 cm.
Contents: [Poems] --
Treesong --
Origins of southern spirit music --
River, clap your hands --
The grassdreaming tree --
Tree of the forest seven bells turns the world round midnight.
Series Title: Conversation pieces (Aqueduct Press), v. 50.
Responsibility: by Sheree Renée Thomas.

Abstract:

Sleeping Under the Tree of Life evokes the realm of ancestral knowledge with a deep respect for the natural world, a love of language, and an invitation for survival, and asks: Who survives without being transformed? Beneath luminous layers of imagery and mythology, science and nature, fantasy and the recounting of history, is the grace and tenderness of a poet's heart, the unwavering gaze of an oracle's vision, and the dreamlike whimsy of a storyteller's mind. Hope, love, and hard truths spring from these pages of a writer whose imagination conjures an unforgettable journey. Readers enter these poems and stories the way some souls enter church, a quiet garden, or a stand of trees--for rest, for the blessing of silence and reverie, for beauty if not redemption.

Memory is the only force strong enough to counter the terrors of a scarred and forgetful world. Thomas's characters are people scraping by in slave quarters and institutional margins, people in search of freedom and transformation who come face to face with apocalyptic powers. Thrown back on their wits and their lore, they turn to unexpected sources to make sense of things: to girl-children, old women, old skills, old magic, and forgotten ties of kinship with the natural world. Rooted in the Mississippi Delta, Thomas's language is the stuff of life and the struggle to call things by their true names. It reaches through time in search of the transformation that will allow us to survive diaspora with memory and soul intact. These shotgun lullabies puncture the walls between us and our past, the people and their birthright.

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