Black Lives Have Always Mattered
A Collection of Essays, Poems, and Personal Narratives

Brassbones & Rainbows
Foreword by Amina Baraka
Introduction by Gabrielle David

Rivers of Women, The Play
Photographs by Michael J. Bracey

Shirley Bradley LeFlore

SHIRLEY BRADLEY LEFLORE is an oral poet, performance artist and retired adjunct professor of women’s and ethnic literature.

An original member of the renowned Black Artist Group (BAG) of St. Louis, LeFlore has performed her poetry nationally and internationally. She is one of few poets with a vast background in collaborative/staged poetry with musicians, dancers, and visual artists. She has blended the vocal texture of her poetry with the music giants of jazz, blues, gospel/spirituals and classical music, including The World Jazz Saxophone Quartet and woodwind virtuoso J.D. Parran. She has also worked with the New York City-based music group Spirit Stage, created the duo Word and Wind, and collaborated on Hammiet Bluiet’s BBQ Band recordings.

LeFlore’s poetry and writings have appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Spirit & Flame, Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry (1997), ALOUD: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café (1995), Black American Literature Forum: Henry Dumas, Vol. 22, No. 2 (1988), Turn in the River: Celebrate Issue for Gwendolyn Brooks (1988), and SHEBA REVIEW: Anthology of Missouri Women Writers (1987). LeFlore has served on the editorial board of RIVER STYX: Literary & Arts Magazine (1975-1988). She was a producer of phatLiterature, a multi-ethnic/cultural arts literary series for The IAAS, where she presented the works of literary/poetry legends Gwendolyn Brooks and Margaret Walker.

Brassbones and Rainbows is LeFLore’s first collection of poetry.  Rivers of Women, The Play is a collaborative effort with Michael J. Bracey, an award-winning photographer based in  Maywood, Illinois, that was produced and directed by National Bestselling author and producer, Lyah Beth LeFlore in 2013.

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2LP Conversations

Gonzales’s poems speak assertively, and the poet’s use of complex periodic sentences lends his lines accumulating power. My translation closely follows the poet’s syntax, and I hope that recreates the drive of the poems.

Lynn Levin

The Black Arts Movement made it clear that you’re not just writing for yourself, but for the masses. Poetry today is more about “me” as opposed to “we.” It’s more or less an ego exercise and much of it wallows heavily in the pathos of our lives.

Abiodun Oyewole

My primary goal with this novel was to pay my respects to William Faulkner’s classic The Wild Palms. Retelling Faulkner’s tale with Latino characters seems like a natural stage of literary evolution, one that mirrors the evolving literary relationship between our twin continents.

Ezra Fitz

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