It’s here! My long-awaited second poetry baby. I have a theory that all poetry babies are overdue. Split the Crow is my second collection and was published by Parlor Press. It’s available now on the website for a mere $14 and you can choose super-quick or no-rush shipping, depending on your tastes. For those of you who read my first collection Church of Needles and enjoyed my blending of history, persona and lyric, I think you’ll like this one. Split the Crow begins in the contact period, 1600s New England, with King Phillips War and friction between European settlers and Native Americans. The poems move forward in time and migrate to the southern United States and the forced expulsion of tribes from ancestral land, forced schooling and attempted eradication of not only native culture, but native people (read: genocide). The poems adopt many voices, both European and native and arrive somewhere in the present, or future, with a few poems on environmental degradation. This quote, one of my blurbs, is from the poet Ellen Dore Watson:
“Split the Crow is rife with surprise, rich with inventive images from the natural world, and delicious with music. Weaving through centuries of Native American material culture, Sousa walks no straight lines. From ‘Her Moods Caused Owls’: ‘Once there was a girl who spoke / garlands’ and (four lines later) ‘her fear caused gardens.’ This brilliant, idiosyncratic book rides the wave of language and consciousness rather than narrative, to breathtaking effect. And this poet is not just smart, she’s wise.”
The beautiful artwork on the cover, titled Fragments of Midnight, is by artist Elise Mahan. Her shop is dangerous for me, so many mythic birds. I want them all! And I’d like to thank David Blakesley, publisher at Parlor Press, for getting the cover design just right.
My book launch will take place on March 30th, 7 p.m. at Amherst Books in Amherst, MA. It will double as my honorary prize reading for winning the 2015 Anne Halley Prize awarded by the Massachusetts Review.