Speak Water by Truth Thomas
Winner of the 2013 NAACP Image Award
for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry
About Speak Water:
Author Truth Thomas
Photograph by Melanie Henderson © 2010
"Speak Water speaks to the fluidity of that most ancient ethos: truth. And when you throw in justice, for that matter, you are dealing with Truth, as in Thomas-not doubting or pouting-but like Moses who spoke and split water, castigating the very enemies of righteousness with poems that are riotous and crystal clear as the holiest of waters should be. Speak Water is a testament to Truth Thomas' commitment to the power of the word. His mastery of ideas, images, syllables and forms puts to rest the stale, obdurate notion that poetry and politics can't live together to bear witness, to be beautiful and hopeful and true; to tell it like it is and how it ought to be-and make you cry, laugh, scratch your head, and think-like you're in church, testifying and signifying at all the lying and dying Babylon brings. Here be Truth. Here be Thomas. Hear him speak-and sing."
"Well, I didn't think Truth Thomas could write a still finer book than A Day of Presence and Bottle of Life, but here he has gone and done it. Writing from the streets of the suffering cities, writing riffs on damn near everything from Genesis and Lamentations to Langston and Etheridge, Amiri and Aretha, a soul-singer, a satirist, a born lover and magical metaphor-maker, Truth is his name for a reason. Speak Water is a book that's deep and wide. You'll be transformed when you get to the other side.
"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."
"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
"Truth Thomas is a contemporary poet who has obtained international acclaim for his second collection entitled Bottle of Life (2010). His latest work, Speak Water, is predicted to bring a broader audience and more success. Once again, Truth Thomas speaks 'unconditional truths.' The words and images flow from the biblical, early passages of 'Genesis' on to 'Revelations.' This collection is a mystical journey through the African and African-American experience through the ages. Ebbing through the lyrics, Thomas permits the unsung heroes of Black suffrage to obtain a voice. Intermingled with Langston Hughes and Aretha Franklin, all find a voice in this poetical, Black tapestry... forever afloat in the current of Speak Water."
-Dr. Rosetta Codling Literary Critic, Atlanta Books Examiner
Speak Water by Truth Thomas
Cover design: Deb Dulin
Cover photograph: His Choice of Edens © 2011 by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Print Version - $12.00 (plus shipping):
My TV is Not the Boss of Me by Truth Thomas & Cory Thomas
Illustration © 2011 by Cory Thomas
My TV is Not the Boss of Me by Cory Thomas and Truth Thomas (coming 2013) "A self-esteem raising book for little black girls who have considered the hot comb when bamboozled by the tube."
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