An Unmistakable Shade of Red & The Obama Chronicles: Poems
by Mary E. Weems
ISBN: 978-1-933964-18-8 | 80 pages
Yes, this writer is a woman, who knows that “every mouth’s its own love language, / lust’s first cousin.” And yes, she is a black woman, for whom the eyes of Barack Obama “are so deep brown / I see blue in them, / ocean water, / bones rising, / right fists raised.” And yes, like the rest of us, she’s getting older, “hair graying in places / I shouldn’t have hair.” But beyond all divisions, she is a poet, who knows that poetry is music, and music is “the first place Black and White / came together like unwritten notes / in a jazz composition.” In these poems Mary Weems both challenges and embraces America in all its turbulence and beauty. We should be grateful. —George Bilgere, author of Haywire.
Mary E. Weems
Ph.D. is a poet, playwright, author, performer, and imagination-intellect theorist. She is currently the Poet Laureate of Cleveland Heights (April 2007 – April 2009). Dr. Weems is the author and/or co-editor of several books including Cleveland Poetry Scenes: A Panorama & Anthology (Bottom Dog Press, 2008), Poetry Power (Silvermoon Press, 2003), her educational text Public Education and the Imagination-Intellect: I Speak from the Wound in My Mouth (PeterLang, 2003), Working Hard for the Money: America’s Working Poor in Stories, Poems, and Photos (Bottom Dog Press, 2002), and a book of poems An Unmistakable Shade of Red and the Obama Chronicles (Bottom Dog Press, 2008).
Weems has been widely published in journals including The African American Review, Obsidian III, and xcp: Cultural Poetics. Her work has also appeared in numerous anthologies, most recently Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women Write to the New First Lady (SUNY Press) Boomer Girls (Iowa University Press), and Spirit and Flame: An Anthology of African American Poetry (SUNY Press)).
Weems won the Wick Chapbook Award for her collection white in 1996, and in 1997 her play Another Way to Dance won the Chilcote award for The Most Innovative Play by an Ohio Playwright. Her most recent chapbook Tampon Class (Pavement Saw Press) is in its second printing. As a public intellectual, Mary Weems has had numerous articles, performance texts, and book chapters published in the field of education including: Gap This! Contesting Empire, Globalizing Dissent: Cultural Studies after 9/11 (Paradigm Publishers, 2006), C.H.A.O.S. In Shirley R. Steinberg, Priya Parmar, Birgit Richard (eds.) Contemporary Youth Culture: An International Encyclopedia (Greenwood Press, London/Westbrook, 2006) and “The Politics and Poetics of Space in Urban School Reform,” In S. Hood, R. Hopson, & H. Frierson (eds.) The Role of Culture and Cultural Context: A Mandate for Inclusion, the Discovery of Truth and Understanding in Evaluative Theory and Practice. Burney, N., White, C.J. & Weems, M.E. (Information Age Publishing, 2005)
Mary Weems is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education and Allied Studies at John Carroll University. She also works as a language-artist-scholar and Education consultant in middle school, and high school classrooms, university settings and other venues through her business Bringing Words to Life. Programming includes F.L.Y. (Finding Love in Yourself) a self-esteem program for girls and women, which she has facilitated for the last five years as part of Ohio University’s, Upward Bound Summer Institute. source
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