Sundress Publications announces the release of Barbara Fant’s Mouths Of Garden. Fant’s poetry encourages readers to examine their lineage as alive and intrinsically linked to their current moment.
In Mouths of Garden, there is a distinct sense of both suffocation and symphony, as Barbara Fant describes resiliency, especially of Black people continuing to uplift communities ravaged by racism, illness, domestic abuse, police brutality, and toxic omission. A deep spatial awareness presents itself in Fant’s work, as bodies mold to the shape of caskets, bullets, fossilized homes, and screams suffocate in the violence often ignored by surrounding eyes. Yet, by tracing the steadfast throats and backbones of Black women working to uproot the paralyzing scenes of missing Black girls and targeted Black boys, Fant’s language is a reflective, echoing choir calling to transform the inexcusable stagnation in America’s attempts to address longstanding discrimination. As the speaker recalls a long lineage of aunts, sisters, grandmothers, and mothers who have harnessed the power of a church piano or produced the tenderness of newly braided hair, she slowly discovers a potency blooming from the movements of her own body as she writes, “I found myself in a braid / crawled out of my own casket / made my way inside a mouth, / and grew another part of my body.” Fant’s poetry cultivates a garden where Black voices pry away the stale American soil to reclaim the sprouts of open mouths and honest words buried beneath.
Hanif Abdurraqib, author of Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes on A Tribe Called Quest, says, “The delight of Mouths of Garden is the same delight that I find rising up in the poems of Barbara Fant time and time again: the images snap to life before a reader’s eyes, the narratives guide you generously, but still keep something for themselves. Everyone that Barbara writes about feels so richly and tenderly rendered. This book builds a world, and then does everyone and everything within the world justice.”
Pre-order your copy of Mouths of Garden on the Sundress website: https://sundress publications.square.site/
Barbara Fant has been writing and performing for 14 years. Her first poetry collection, Paint, Inside Out, was published by Penmanship Books (NYC) in 2010. Her work has been featured by Button Poetry and Def Poetry Jam, and published in The Academy of American Poets, Electric Literature, Harness Magazine, The McNeese Review, and anthologized by The Ohio State University Press, among others. Fant believes in the transformative power of art and considers poetry her ministry.