Sapphire (born Ramona Lofton on August 4, 1950, in Fort Ord, California) lives and works in New York City, and was born in Fort Ord, California. Her first collection of prose and poetry is American Dreams, published by Serpent's Tail/High Risk Books. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, including High Risk 2: Writings on Sex, Death & Subversion; Critical Condition: Women on the Edge of Violence; and Women on Women: An Anthology of American Lesbian Short Fiction. Sapphire graduated from City College in Harlem with a degree in Dance [and an M.F.A. from the writing program at Brooklyn College], where she was the 1994 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Scholarship in Poetry. She was the first place winner in Downtown Magazine's Year of the Poet III Award for 1994.
Bio excerpted from: http://www.diacenter.org/prg/poetry/94_95/sapphirebio.html
Hardcover: 384 pages
Black Wings & Blind Angels: Poems
"Alive with the emotional honesty and intellectual force for which Sapphire has been admired as both a writer and a performance artist, these forty-seven poems take us into America's past and present, bearing testimony to the black experience in a country fragmented by war, racism, and urban and domestic violence. They tell the story of a search for the complicated spiritual path back to one's roots, a story of family, race, and self-transformation." ~ from the book jacket
From The Publisher
Day after day they go over the pages, translating the illiterate but developing language of Precious' journals. The learning process itself, as vividly revealed as the most brutal aspects of Precious' daily existence, is the heartbeat of a novel that will disturb, galvanize, and stay in the mind.
In the tradition of Alice Walker, this electrifying new African American voice delivers the verdict on the urban condition in a sensual, propulsive, and prophetic book of poetry and prose.
Whether she is writing about an enraged teenager gone "wilding" in Central Park, fifteen-year-old Latasha Harlins gunned down by a Korean grocer, or a brutalized child who grows up to escape her probable fate through the miracle of art, Sapphire's vision in this collection of poetry and prose is unswervingly honest.
"Stunning . . . . One of the strongest debut collections of the '90s."--Publishers Weekly
Meditations on the Rainbow: Poetry
Paperback: 71 pages
NPR Radio interview (excellent)
AALBC.com's Poets Section