2 Books Published by Cherry Castle Publishing, LLC on AALBC — Book Cover Collage

Click for more detail about We Didn’t Know Any Gangsters by Brian Gilmore We Didn’t Know Any Gangsters

by Brian Gilmore
Cherry Castle Publishing, LLC (Aug 31, 2014)
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“Brian Gilmore’s We Didn’t Know Any Gangsters weds the wily clarity of Lucille Clifton to the cultural acuity of James Baldwin. "Res ipsa loquitur" ("The thing speaks for itself"), Gilmore says in one poem, recasting William Carlos Williams’ dictum: "no ideas but in things," as a statement of self-determination and witness. Stereotypes, and clichés about African-American life are obliterated by poems that are vibrant, distinct and unequivocally American. Political, personal, exceptional—this is a remarkable book about what it means to be us.”
E. Ethelbert Miller, award-winning poet and Director of Howard University’s African-American Resource Center

“In We Didn’t know Any Gangsters, Brian Gilmore creates a work of architecture, populating it with people we’ll never forget. Novelists and playwrights do this all the time, but when a poet creates a big stage with fascinating characters, that is technique and that is triumph. Meet a young man growing up, meet his family, see a society sometimes unsafe—and experience real life, expertly drawn, with pulsating, fast-moving, innovative, lyricism. The motor inside his poetry hums with prophecy and politics, but there is even more—there is a beautiful heart at the center of his writing, and poems are messages torn from it, sorted out, and, put all together to make up our human history. Brian Gilmore proves he was obviously born to write, and it’s our good fortune.”
Terrance Hayes, MacArthur Fellow, 2010 National Book Award Winner

Click for more detail about Speak Water by Truth Thomas Speak Water

by Truth Thomas
Cherry Castle Publishing, LLC (Jun 12, 2012)
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Truth Thomas’ Speak Water won the 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry. It chronicles the human quest to conquer hate with love, a grand and piercing collection of midrashic poetry, written from an African-American perspective. It is framed by both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, as each poem references some aspect of every book contained in Scripture. This homecoming work, Thomas’ third full collection of verses, is the first to be published in the United States, and reflects breakthrough poetry from one of America’s finest writers.

"There is a certain spirituality always in the poetry of Truth Thomas. Speak Water resonates with Thomas’ unique blend of the spirit and the self. He has his own grounded language, and delivery, a cadence that is urban and historical, today, yesterday, tomorrow, but all the time, universal and willing to fight. He is a literary traveler; he goes where the best words are, the best thoughts, he reaches deep into his soul to understand the beauty of people, the songs of those that matter." —Brian Gilmore

"Truth Thomas offers powerful verses and insightful reveries, then relieves the ironic pain with reasoned succor—first-aid for the wounded soul. He weaves meanings and codes from biblical notes, personal anecdotes, and political knowledge wielded through experience beyond his years—a mix between Nikki Giovanni at her finest, and Gil Scott-Heron at his sharpest. The poet’s musical cadences and true timing are impeccable, pleasing, charming, and biting. It is truly inspiring to read verses with such lyrical soundings of Black America that are revelatory, romantic, spiritual and political." —Dr. Ricardo Guthrie, San Diego Poetry Guild, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies, Northern Arizona University