the she said dialogues: flesh memory
Author: Akilah Oliver
Publisher: Nightboat Books (2021)
A reprint of the black feminist classic by the late poet and performer Akilah Oliver.
In her original author’s note to the 1999 edition, Akilah Oliver writes, “What I am trying to do in these poems is investigate the non-linear synapses between desire, memory, blackness (as both a personal identity and a non-essentialist historical notion), sexuality and language.” the she said dialogues: flesh memory proves to be not only still timely twenty years later, but essential reading for understanding intersectional politics and poetics in our current moment.
“Akilah’s precise, innovative, extraordinary work takes us to revealed places in the body, places where life has failed us and yet new beginnings may be possible. Her debut collection seems to call to us, saying: we have this kind of gathering together, a collective state of being called she and this state can advise us, speak to us, it is whom we can trust with our secrets, fears, hopes and setbacks.”