by Samiya Bashir
Gospel is an ecumenical resistance song in four parts. In this passionate follow-up to 2005’s Lambda Literary Award finalist, Where the Apple Falls, Bashir’s poems challenge truth to stare down the power of fear and paralysis. ”We intended gospel to strike a happy medium for the down-trodden,” said gospel music pioneer Thomas Dorsey. “This music lifted people out of the muck and mire of poverty and loneliness, of being broke, and gave them some kind of hope anyway. Make it anything but good news, it ceases to be gospel.” The good news, according to Bashir, is that we are neither alone in our mess, nor alone in our grasp of the tools to heal. In this pull-no-punches collection Bashir lays down a road map, a portable flashlight, and a shaky-legged escort to usher the way toward recovered sight and strength.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Samiya Bashir is the author of Gospel, finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the 2009 Lambda Literary Award, and Where the Apple Falls, a Poetry Foundation bestseller and finalist for the 2005 Lambda Literary Award. Bashir is editor of Best Black Women’s Erotica 2, and co-editor, with Tony Medina and Quraysh Ali Lansana, of Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art. Bashir's poetry, stories, articles and editorial work have been featured in numerous publications and her awards include grants, fellowships and residencies from the Hopwood Program, the Astraea Foundation, the National Association of Pen Women, the University of California, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, University of Michigan, Soul Mountain Writers Colony, The Austin Project, Alma de Mujer, the James Dick Foundation for the Performing Arts, and Cave Canem, among others. For over a decade Bashir worked as a social justice communications professional and was a founding organizer of Fire & Ink, a writers festival for LGBT writers of African descent Most recently, she was owner and principal consultant of Lead Time Consulting, specializing in communications for nonprofits and arts organizations She is currently nesting amidst the Ann Arbor trees where she teaches writing at the University of Michigan.
[Photo credit Wura-Natasha Ogunji.]
Interview on Mandrake Society Radio, March 2009: http://www.mandrakesocietyradio.com/2009/03/30/podcast-poet-samiya-bashir-speaks-gospel/
Interview on Sippin on Ink: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Sippin-on-Ink/2009/04/16/Samiya-Bashir
© 2009 by Samiya Bashir
Cover photo copyright © 2008 by Samiya Bashir
Cover design: E.M. Corbin