ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes

   

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Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies

Callaloo, The Village Voice, The Caribbean Writer, The Massachusetts Review,

Red River and Potomac Reviews, Hanging Loose, and Terra Incognita

   

Books by Naomi Ayala

Wild Animals on the Moon  /  This Side of Early

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Reviews of  Naomi Ayala's 

Wild Animals on the Moon..

Publishing History 

(Literary)

Books:

Wild Animals on the Moon..

(Curbstone Press, 1997).

Anthologies:

Poetry Like Bread: Poets of the Political Imagination.  (Curbstone Press, 2000. Expanded edition.) 

Freedombook: An Anthology of Works for Freedom (ProLIBERTAD Amnesty Campaign to Free the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners, 1999).

El Coro: A Chorus of Latino/a Poets  (University of Massachusetts Press, 1997).

Seeds of Struggle, Songs of Hope: Poetry of Emerging Youth y Sus Maestros del Movimiento (Centro de la Raza, 1997).

In Creative Resistance: U. S. Puerto Rican Women (Third Woman Press, 1994).

Connecticut Poets, (National League of American PEN Women, Vol. II, 1990).

Journals (Poetry):  

Terra Incognita (No. 3, 2003): “Consejo Número 13 Given By an Otherwise Ill-Willed Papi Chulo Pueblo Man, a Tiwa, Who Cared About Prayers,”  and “Brujo #1 for the Papi Chulo Who Must Go.

African Voices (2002): “Chucho,”  “When the Downtown Soup Kitchen was a Restaurant,” and “Tribute to Your Eyes.”

Beltway (Summer 2002): Reprints of “Secrets,” “El placer de la palabra,” “The Night I Walk into Town,” “Poverty,” “Sweeping,” and “Lawns.”

Red River Review (August 2001): “The Land of Your Country,” and “When You Left.”  

The Potomac Review (Vo. VIII, No. 3, 2001): “Maple Branch,” and excerpts from “Springer Mountain.”

Peregrine (Vol. XVIII, 1999, Editor’s Choice):  “Loose About.”  

Hanging Loose (#72, Spring l998): "Golden Chopsticks."

Peregrine (Vol. XV, Winter 1996): "Caesura."  

Poetry USA (Summer 1996): "A Coquí in Nueva York."

The Caribbean Writer (Vol. 9, Summer 1995): "A Man Will Rush from Behind Me," and "Amber Hands."  

Kalliope (Vol. 17, No. 3, Fall 1995): "It Was Late and She Was Climbing."

The Massachusetts Review (Vol. 36, No. 4, December 1995): "Reform," and "Papo Who'd Wanted to be an Artist."  

Callaloo  ("Puerto Rican Women Writers: Special Issue," Vol. 17, No. 3, Summer 1994): "Immigrant's Voice," "If We Passed You," "Words," "Haiti," "For 'S,'" "Airborne," "Fifteen-Ten," "For Late Nite Poems," and "Abuelo's Garden."

Moving Out (Vol. 15, Nos. 1 & 2, 1993): "Sketch of Alice at the Factory."  

Callaloo  ("Puerto Rican Literature: A Special Focus," Vol. 15, No. 4, Fall 1992): "Wild Animals on the Moon," and "Lawns."  .

Next Phase  (Vol. I, No. 7, 1992): "Outside the Lines."

The Hobo Jungle  (Vol. I, No. 8, Autumn, 1990): "Sketch of Alice at the Factory."

Taller Literario  (Vol. I, Spring 1986): "El Accidente."

Contact: Naomi Ayala  Riverword@msn.com  

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This Side of Early

Poems by Naomi Ayala

Naomi Ayala’s poems explore wide-ranging themes in an ever-changing landscape—from the city streets to the introspective solace of the woods. These lyrics deconstruct the political world of man, offer hope through a compelling, lyrical, spiritual intimacy, and bridge the gap between the two with words full of ecological intensity.

Her deep connections with the working class combine with a love of the land to offer us lilt and dream, revelation and foretelling.

In This Side of Early, Naomi Ayala exhibits astonishing range, proving that great poetry is worth waiting for. Like Whitman, Ayala contains multitudes; she is a poet with an ethereal vision of another world, and a woman with a sweet hope for this one: “Drink from this tree/and ye shall be saved."Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, author of Red Clay Suite

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Hole

                 By Naomi Ayala

One morning
they dig up the sidewalk and leave.
No sign of the truck—only the large,
dark shadow digging and digging,
piling up sludge with a hand shovel
beside the only tree.
Two o’clock I come by
and he’s slumbering in the grass beside rat holes.
Three and he’s stretched across a jagged stonewall,
folded hands tucked beneath one ear—
a beautiful young boy smiling,
not the heavy, large shadow who can’t breathe.
Four-thirty and the August heat
takes one down here.
He’s pulled up an elbow joint
some three feet round.
At seven I head home for the night,
pass the fresh gravel mound,
a soft footprint near the manhole
like the “x” abuelo would place beside his name
all the years he couldn’t write.

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

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#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

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#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

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#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.WashingtonPost

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town." Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest. Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 22 April 2012

 

 

 

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