If you enjoy the free-verse sexual musings of Meshell Ndegeocello's funky lyrics, this is the book for you. eyeseen: insights outward, published by Chapel Hill's Big Drum Press, is a collection by N.C. Central University alumnus r.c. glenn. Leading the "Freeform for Freedom" writing workshop at UNC-Chapel Hill last spring, glenn noted that "my goal is to free people up, throw in some freestyle." With this "street speak" free structure he's created a startling collage. His writing conjures black history's most searing images, and his style suggests a more urgent e. e. cummings with voodoo on his mind.
Across the Blue Chasm, by Howard L. Craft (Big Drum Press, 113 pp., $12.95)
Durham resident Howard Craft is an artist-in-residence at SpiritHouse, and his poetry has been commissioned by the Chuck Davis African-American Dance Ensemble. His new volume of poetry is filled with images of the past and present--from a Middle Passage slave ship diagram to a black figure with a target on his chest--creating a powerful and mature overview of the black experience. Craft's poems take the reader from the death of the author's own father to a meeting with a homeless woman in a Waffle House, and his dream encounter with the spirit/essence of John Coltrane is told with especially graceful expressiveness.
Like Boogie on Tuesday, by Linda Dominique Grosvenor (Sepia Books, 438 pp., $15)
Re-released by Sepia Books, a BET Publications imprint, Like Boogie on Tuesday examines the lives of four characters as they deal with infidelity, self-doubt--and sexually transmitted disease. Romance novel enthusiasts are sure to enjoy Durham writer Linda Dominique Grosvenor's tale of a tumultuous quest for love and fulfillment along with a liberal dose of alcoholism, sex, religion, and emotionally abusive men. Will Nina ever meet a good man? Can Tim commit to one woman? Will antibiotics or Zovirax solve everyone's problems once and for all? Sounds steamy, but if you want to read truly erotic literature, look elsewhere.