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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Book Review & Recommendation

Title: Eloquence: Rhythm & Renaissance

Author: Usiku

Genre: Poetry, prose poetry, short stories

Pages: 103

Usiku's work is magnificently written. He has an amazing mastery of the English language and his nature imagery is especially breathtaking. The poems and stories cover wide-ranging human universal themes such as love, religion, nature and family, and are each boldly presented in a genuine, powerful African-American voice.

His book is divided into eight sections, each with its own broad theme. The short works range in length from poems of just a few lines to stories a few pages long. Some works are humorous while others will bring tears to your eyes. Even where his perspective and my own differ, I always found his words to be both passionate and thought-provoking.

These poems linger in your mind long after you put the book down. His are the sort of images that drift back into your mind days, even weeks later, when you least expect it, forming new connections in your spirit.

Some of my personal favorites are: "To: Natural, My Love," (a poem on the beauty of natural African curls), "Darkness Wings," "Buffalo Creek Crossing," "Why We Need Peach Trees & Kids," "Basic Needs & the 'N' Word," and the humorously, yet truthfully shocking "Some Dreams Seem So Real..."

Usiku's words reclaim, embrace and proclaim the beauty, power and dignity of the Black experience, and in so doing, reveal a deep and moving power to love and heal.

D. Ash, Editor of Expanded Horizons

Originally posted on Bookshare on Livejournal

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