Brassbones & Rainbows, Shirley Bradley LeFlore’s first full-length poetry book, is the culmination of over 50 years of literary excellence that blossomed during the Black Arts Movement and has been going strong ever since. The founding principles of the Black Arts Movement emerged from the Black Power Movement. While the major players from this era were African American men, there were also some prominent women during this time, although they may be marginalized at times. Women such as Sonia Sanchez, Audre Lorde, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ntozake Shange, and Nikki Giovanni are recognized for their contributions in the literary aspects as well. What most people don’t know is that Shirley Bradley LeFlore (pictured above with Oliver Lake, ca. 1970) was there also, helping to create a new and distinct black poetics and its relationship to the black community’s struggle for rights and liberation.
As one of the architects of the Black Arts Movement, Shirley is an activist, a published writer, recording artist, veteran poet and playwright, who, in collaboration with national and international musicians and dancers, was one of the first consummate artists to preserve the sanctity of the Oral Tradition with the inclusion of multiple arts disciplines. She is also a former member of the historic Black Artists Group (BAG) of St. Louis, and has taught for many years as a creative writing professor. Shirley has also served as a mentor for many poets, writers, actors and musicians, yet in all that she has accomplished, she has never gotten around to publishing her own full-length poetry collection. But now, after all of these years, the book is coming, and 2Leaf Press feels extremely privileged to publish Shirley’s exceptional work.
Brassbones & Rainbows is a journey through the vicissitudes of life, a journey of love and loss, joy and sorrow, tragedy and triumph. 2Leaf Press is proud to publish this rich body of creative work and present it to a wide audience. The cover art is by Frank Fields and the Foreword by the poet Amina Baraka.
For more information on Shirley Bradley LeFlore, check out her website at www.shirleybradleyleflore.com and visit her on Facebook and become her friend. More importantly, be sure to sign up to 2Leaf Press to receive updates on the publication date and book parties in St. Louis and New York City!