a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
Billie Holiday’s burned voice
had as many shadows as lights,
a mournful candelabra against a sleek piano,
the gardenia her signature under that ruined face.
(Now you’re cooking, drummer to bass,
magic spoon, magic needle.
Take all day if you have to
with your mirror and your bracelet of song.)
Fact is, the invention of women under siege
has been to sharpen love in the service of myth.
If you can’t be free, be a mystery.
Rita Dove is Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia and currently The New York Times Magazine’s poetry editor; she has served as U.S. poet laureate and poet laureate of Virginia. Author of numerous literary works, most recently the poetry books Sonata Mulattica and Collected Poems 1974-2004, she also edited The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Her many awards include the Pulitzer Prize, the National Humanities Medal and the National Medal of Arts, and to date 28 universities have bestowed honorary doctorates on her, among them Yale, Harvard, Duke, Emory and U. Michigan.