The 20-poem collection reinterprets classic literary forms, such as triolets and haiku, to create a first-person narrative of a young man’s loss of innocence. The book follows his psychological path of being subjected to an abuser’s potent mix of love and abuse and his subsequent survival.
“There’s a lot of trauma in the world, in this story,” explained Allen. “But, even in the midst of that, the collection is about finding yourself. You can emerge on the other side.” Allen, known for connecting and intersecting musical genres, especially blues & soul, pairs the collection with an 11-track soundscape mirroring and expanding upon the conversations created within the text. Tai recently released the first single, “The Drinking Song,” as a tongue-in-cheek exploration of how to think and feel better after a good drink.
- “That Allen is a heterosexual, Black father telling a survivor story deemed the province of women and gays makes this work’s very existence a radical act of challenge.” —L. Michael Gipson, culture critic/ editor, SoulTracks.com
- “[This book is] platforming a voice for the voiceless.” —Greg Tate, culture critic
- “Intoxicating.” —Monifa Lemons, co-founder/director, Watering Hole
- His first single [is] a tongue-in-cheek exploration of how to think and feel better after a good drink, is an intoxicating song that is worth replaying numerous times. —Okayplayer.com
Tell us what do you think about No Jewels: A Biography (of sorts) Writ in Stanza.