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HARD TIMES REQUIRE FURIOUS DANCING

New Poems

“Though we have encountered our share of grief and troubles on this earth, we can still hold the line of beauty, form, and beat. No small accomplishment in a world as challenging as this one.”
— from the preface

“I was born to grow, / alongside my garden of plants, / poems / like / this one“

So writes Alice Walker in this new book of poems, poems composed over the course of one year in response to joy and sorrow both personal and global: the death of loved ones, war, the deliciousness of love, environmental devastation, the sorrow of rejection, greed, poverty, and the sweetness of home. The poems embrace our connections while celebrating the joy of individuality, the power we each share to express our truest, deepest selves. Beloved for her ability to speak her own truth in ways that speak for and about countless others, she demonstrates that we are stronger than our circumstances. As she confronts personal and collective challenges, her words dance, sing, and heal.

Endorsements

“[These poems] grow as naturally on the page as grass and flowers, yet never try to conceal a terrain of early graves, emotional land mines, and levies of sorrow.”
Gloria Steinem

“A lifeboat in a storm, warm soup in the mouth, a rhumba in the streets of the heart.”
Jack Kornfield

“These are powerful anthems of womanhood and age, although just as likely to be empowering to men and to the not-yet-old.”
Booklist

“Walker’s many fans won’t be disappointed by this book.”
Publishers Weekly

“The poems sing of joy and pain, loss and grief, love and transformation, with results that are redemptive.…Highly recommended for all readers of contemporary poetry and for anyone interested in African American literature.”
Library Journal

“Her poems are intimate and moving, and, like the deepest of heart-to-heart conversations with one who knows us well, they touch the places that hurt, acknowledge the pain, and shine healing light on it.”
Spirituality & Health

“These poems are so beautiful, so full of truth and light, that it is possible to forget how absolutely useful they are. And how necessary. Alice Walker has given us a year of poems that speak to us like wise old friends, reminding us to embrace our freedom; encouraging us to celebrate our love; and demanding that in the face of things known, and things unknowable, we grab another human being by the hand and dance as often, and as furiously, as we possibly can!”
Pearl Cleage, author of We Speak Your Names

“The intimacy and grace of her words are a call to love more deeply, no matter what we have endured. Her poems are medicine for the soul.”
— from the foreword by Shiloh McCloud

“What a gift. Alice Walker charts out a cherished path for living, loving, mourning, and just being. Her spirit soars in every line, and she carries us with her.”
Andy Shallal, owner of Busboys and Poets