Tag Archives: poets

Essence Magazine’s Book Features for April 2015

Essence Magazine’s book features for April 2015, selected to catch some Spring Fever — featuring Attica Locke, Eric Jerome Dickey, Angela Flournoy, Tracey Baptiste, Tracy K. Smith:

Pleasantville (Jay Porter Series) by Attica Locke

Harper, April 21, 2015, Hardcover

In this sophisticated thriller, lawyer Jay Porter, hero of Attica Locke’s bestseller Black Water Rising, returns to fight one last case, only to become embroiled once again in a dangerous game of shadowy politics and a witness to how far those in power are willing to go to win.

Fifteen years after the events of Black Water Rising, Jay Porter is struggling to cope with catastrophic changes in his personal life and the disintegration of his environmental law practice. His victory against Cole Oil is still the crown jewel of his career, even if he hasn’t yet seen a dime thanks to appeals. But time has taken its toll. Tired and restless, hes ready to quit.

When a girl goes missing on Election Night, 1996, in the neighborhood of Pleasantville — a hamlet for upwardly mobile blacks on the north side of Houston — Jay, a single father, is deeply disturbed. He’s been representing Pleasantville in the wake of a chemical fire, and the case is dragging on, raising doubts about his ability.

The missing girl was a volunteer for one of the local mayoral candidates, and her disappearance complicates an already heated campaign. When the nephew of one of the candidates, a Pleasantville local, is arrested, Jay reluctantly finds himself serving as a defense attorney. With a man’s life and his own reputation on the line, Jay is about to try his first murder in a case that will also put an electoral process on trial, exposing the dark side of power and those determined to keep it.

One Night by Eric Jerome Dickey

Dutton, April 21, 2015, Hardcover

For one night, a couple checks in to an upscale hotel. The pair seem unlikely companions, from opposing strata of society, but their attraction is palpable to all who observe them — or overhear their cries of passion. In the course of twelve hours, con games, erotic interludes, jealousy, violence, and murder swirl around them. Will they part ways in bliss, in sorrow, or in death?

Filled with all the hallmarks of an Eric Jerome Dickey bestseller — erotic situations, edge-of-your-seat twists and turns, and fun, believable relationships — One Night will delight Dickey’s existing fans and lure countless new ones.

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 14, 2015, Hardcover

The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone — and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit’s East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts — and shapes — their family’s future.

The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It’s a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home.

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

Algonquin Young Readers, April 28, 2015, Hardcover

The jumbies are coming!

Corinne La Mer isn’t afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. She knows that jumbies aren’t real; they’re just creatures parents make up to frighten their children. But on All Hallows’ Eve, Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden woods. Those shining yellow eyes that follow her to the edge of the trees, they couldn’t belong to a jumbie. Or could they?

Corinne begins to notice odd occurrences after that night. First she spots a beautiful stranger speaking to the town witch at the market. Then this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne’s house, cooking dinner for her father. Danger is in the air. Sure enough, bewitching Corinne’s father is the first step in Severine’s plan to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and ancient magic to stop Severine and to save her island home.

Ordinary Light: A memoir by Tracy K. Smith

Knopf, March 31, 2015, Hardcover

From the dazzlingly original Pulitzer Prize-winning poet: a quietly potent memoir that explores coming-of-age and the meaning of home against a complex backdrop of race, faith, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter.

The youngest of five children, Tracy K. Smith was raised with limitless affection and a firm belief in God by a stay-at-home mother and an engineer father. But just as Tracy is about to leave home for college, her mother is diagnosed with cancer, a condition she accepts as part of God’s plan. Ordinary Light is the story of a young woman struggling to fashion her own understanding of belief, loss, history, and what it means to be black in America.

In lucid, clear prose, Smith interrogates her childhood in suburban California, her first collision with independence at Harvard, and her Alabama-born parents’ recollections of their own youth in the Civil Rights era. These dizzying juxtapositions — of her family’s past, her own comfortable present, and the promise of her future — will in due course compel Tracy to act on her passions for love and “ecstatic possibility,” and her desire to become a writer.

Shot through with exquisite lyricism, wry humor, and an acute awareness of the beauty of everyday life, Ordinary Light is a gorgeous kaleidoscope of self and family, one that skillfully combines a child’s and teenager’s perceptions with adult retrospection. Here is a universal story of being and becoming, a classic portrait of the ways we find and lose ourselves amid the places we call home.

Event: Mindshift 2012

Mindshift 2012 is a panel discussion will be taking place on Saturday March 10, 2012 from
12PM – 2PM.

The event, being held in celebration of Women’s History Month, brings together an eclectic mix of writers and authors will be hosting an open discussion with the public. The event is FREE to the public.

Come Out and be part of the conversation!

Event location: Carson Regional Library, 151 E. Carson St, Carson CA 90745

Contact:
Professor Robyn McGee, California State University Dominguez Hills , robynmarie1973@yahoo.com
Author & Poet Cherise Charleswell, eclecticlifediva@yahoo.com

Interview with Dameon Wroe

Dameon Wroe
Dameon Wroe is a former member of the R&B singing group, H2O. While recording their first album for Capitol Records, Dameon and his group members were also involved in acting. Dameon landed several featured roles and was also cast in a Dr. Pepper commercial. He has worked with entertainers such as Brian McKnight, Naughty By Nature, Silk, Jennifer Lewis, Robert Townsend, Don Cheadle, and Eddie Griffin. As suggested by many who had either read his poetry or watched him perform, Dameon took his passion for writing to the next level and wrote his first, self-published book of poetry entitled True Inspirations – A Poetry Collection, Vol. I and ultimately persuaded major book stores, such as Borders Books and Barnes & Noble, to carry his book. Dameon has released his second book, No Longer Silent – By Way of Poetry.

Professionally known as “Wroe-Wroe,” Dameon is aggressively searching to give the music industry a much needed face-lift with his innovative, motivational, and cutting-edge style of rap. As a solo artist, Dameon aspires to make a name for himself by writing for accomplished artists and eventually recording a solo record of his own in the future. Dameon has chosen to dedicate his life to reach out to the youth of our society through his music, and inspire them to be leaders in their communities while teaching them the concepts of turning wrongs into rights. Through his publishing company, Dameon is launching an online mentoring program to help better the youth of our society. Having had his life spared on many occasions, Dameon’s lyrical ability is unlike anything the music industry has seen. While focusing on his goals each day, Dameon reminds himself of the words of motivational speaker and author Les Brown who suggests, “You have to be willing to do the things today that others won’t do, in order to have the things tomorrow that others won’t have.”


(1) No Longer Silent – By Way of Poetry is your second volume of poetry. What was the response like to your first, True Inspirations – A Poetry Collection, Vol. I?

The feedback and response in sales that I acquired from my first book, True Inspirations – A Poetry Collection, Vol. I was very encouraging. I say that because I didn’t go into the publishing arena with confidence that I could sell a lot of books. After getting turned down by Barnes & Noble while soliciting stores to carry my book, I became very discouraged but I didn’t quit. I then took my book to a manager at the Borders Bookstore at the Puente Hills Mall in the City of Industry and they agreed to carry 10 copies to start with. Several weeks later, I was notified that Borders needed me to ship them more books because the first supply had sold out. Ultimately, I sold out four times while my books were on the shelves at Borders and the rest was history!

It was the greatest accomplishment in the world to know that I had written a book that other people actually cared about reading. When I got my first few checks from Borders, based on the books I sold, it was proof that I could accomplish whatever I put my mind to. True Inspirations – A Poetry Collection, Vol. I sold enough copies to inspire me to want to write another book, which brings me to the most prolific and awe-inspiring book I have every written…. No Longer Silent – By Way of Poetry. No Longer Silent

(2) Any “learnings” or “discoveries” from True Inspirations that are helping you in producing and promoting No Longer Silent?
By taking the advice of some very prominent,influential business mentors that I confide in, I learned from them that quitters never win. I also learned from them that, if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything. Since I do stand for something, I knew that failure could not ever be an option for me. While learning what it would take to produce my first book, I did not have anyone to lean on along the way to show me how to do this and how to do that. I pounded the pavement on my own and did my homework to make this book come into existence on my own. I knew if I put all my trust and faith in “people” to show me what needed to be done, “people” would let me down. However if I did the work myself and did it the way it needed to be done, I knew that I would never let myself down because I could not afford to fail.

A priceless lesson that I learned while promoting my first book, is to ALWAYS have a book on me to be able to make an immediate sale once anyone were to ever ask to buy a copy. This lesson is definitely helping me promote No Longer Silent – By Way of Poetry because I carry a box of books around in my car at all times, ready and willing to sell it to everyone I come in contact with that may ask me about it. Although millions of copies sold is the goal of every author, we as authors should be ready to sell a book at any given moment because it only takes one important person to get their hands on our book and the rest could be history. If you get your books exposed to the right people as quickly as possible, the rewards for future books can be quite substantial.

(3) How do you think readers will respond to No Longer Silent? How are you promoting it? And, how has been feedback so far?
I know for a fact that every person who has No Longer Silent – By Way of Poetry in their archives will truly be blessed by reading it. This is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of fact. No Longer Silent – By Way of Poetry is far more than just a poetry book; it is far more than just stories told through the eyes of poems… it is a movement. This book is the spokesperson for everyone who has ever wanted to speak their true feelings but allowed FEAR to stop them from doing so. The book is selling consistently thus far and I believe the reason I can make that statement is because I know there are valuable lessons shared in this book that everyone in society can benefit from, regardless of what walk of life they come from.

The majority of the readers who have already purchased the book have already shared with me that they have fallen in love with the book before finishing the third chapter and, for a ten chapter book, that’s a success story all by itself. If you are a person who ever had an absent parent in your life growing up, then this book is for you. If you are a person who has a desire to mend a broken relationship with a sibling, then this book is for you. If you are a person who wants to gain a better spiritual relationship with God, then this book is for you. If you are a person who strives to become more of a leader and not a follower, then this book is definitely for you. If you know of someone who has been in and out of trouble with the law, then this would be a great book to share with them to get them to see that a better quality of life is possible if they want it bad enough. Our company website is currently under construction but No Longer Silent – By Way of Poetry can still be purchased by sending a check or money order to: Another EP Publishing Company P.O. Box 300 Walnut, CA 91788-0300. The book is $10.81 per copy (tax included).

(4) With No Longer Silent just recently being published, I am sure your efforts are around this book. But, what’s next for you? Any future projects?
Although I am working on promoting my current books, I am also currently writing book number three – which has not yet been titled. My third book is scheduled for completion December 31, 2011 and, once that book is finished, I will begin treatments on book number four – which will be my first full-length novel based on a true story.

I am also accepting completed manuscript submissions from writers who are looking for a great publishing home. Whenever I am not writing books, I am in the recording studio writing songs and also stepping up my efforts to get back into my passion for acting and public speaking.