BOOKS

FUCHSIA

Foreword by Kwame Dawes, University of Nebraska Press, 2016

mahtem-shiferraw-fuchsia-coverWinner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, Ethiopian American Mahtem Shiferraw’s Fuchsia examines conceptions of the displaced, disassembled, and nomadic self. Embedded in her poems are colors, elements, and sensations that evoke painful memories related to deep-seated remnants of trauma, war, and diaspora. Yet rooted in these losses and dangers also lie opportunities for mending and reflecting, evoking a distinct sense of hope. Elegant and traditional, the poems in Fuchsia examine what it means to both recall the past and continue onward with a richer understanding.

Fuchsia, culled from robust life and a finely tuned imagination, captures mysteries of the heart and mind alongside everyday rituals. Each poem dares us line by line, and suddenly we’re inside the delicate mechanism of a deep song. The magical, raw, bittersweet duende of Fuchsia speaks boldly. The personal history and emotional architecture of Ethiopia and Eritrea reside in every portentous poem here. But the stories, each shaped and textured by true feeling, are also ours because they beckon to us.”

—Yusef Komunyakaa, author of The Emperor of Water Clocks

PURCHASE FUCHSIA

BEHIND WALLS & GLASS

Finishing Line Press, 2016

behind-walls-glass-book-cover-final“Mahtem Shiferraw’s poems remind us to return to a state of care. If they are alienated, they are simply being accurate in their report – one is alien only to the degree that one lives in a world without love. These poems shun artifice, shun the surfaces of things unless they align with the deeper yearnings of what even the darkest of nature pulls us back toward – a home deeper than all things that could pose as one, without nurture. And if they are dark, they are dark with a darkness that glows.”

— Sarah Maclay, author of Music of the Black Room

 

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SELECTED WORK

NOMENCLATURES OF INVISIBILITY- POETS.ORG
JOURNEY WITH DANTE | AMBER – AT LENGTH 
LIT | BARROW STREET
CRACKLING BLUE – VISUAL VERSE
WHERE I LEAVE YOU – POEMS AGAINST BORDERS, THE MISSING SLATE
THE YELLOW WOMAN | THE SOUND OF WATER | STORIES – VOICES FROM LEIMERT PARK REDUX, LOS ANGELES POETRY ANTHOLOGY
BLOOD DISPARITIES | SHE SAYS THEY COME AT NIGHT – THE 2RIVER VIEW
ORIGINS & INTERSECTIONS | POLKA DOT DREAMS| WHILE WEEPING – BLAST FURNACE LITERARY JOURNAL
E IS FOR EDEN – MAD HATTERS REVIEW
ON CREMATION – CACTUS HEART PRESS
SOMETHING SLEEPS IN THE MUD-BEDS OF THE NILE – MANDALA LITERARY JOURNAL
TWENTY QUESTIONS FOR YOUR MOTHER – MANDALA LITERARY JOURNAL
SONG OF THE DEAD |LUNA LUNA MAGAZINE
SMALL TRAGEDIES | SYNESTHESIA – BLACKBERRY: A MAGAZINE
FUCHSIA – CALLALLOO LITERARY JOURNAL
DAISIES & DEATH – DIVERSE VOICES QUARTERLY
SLEEPING WITH HYENAS – THE BITTER OLEANDER PRESS
THE MONK OF ZEGE – LONG STORY, SHORT LITERARY JOURNAL
TALKS ABOUT RACE – NUMERO CINQ
SISTER BLACK, SISTER BLUE – CALIFORNIA JOURNAL OF POETICS
A DREAM IN SEQUENCES – CALIFORNIA JOURNAL OF POETICS
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MEDIA

THE OKAYAFRICA 2016 YEAR-END BOOK LIST – OKAYAFRICA
NEW BEGINNINGS: THE FRESHEST BOOKS OF 2016 – THE UNDEFEATED
AS IF THE WORLD HAS NOT TURNED ITS BACK, INTERVIEW – THE MASSACHUSSETS REVIEW 
FUCHSIA REVIEW – WORLD LITERATURE TODAY
FUCHSIA SYNOPSIS – THE POETRY FOUNDATION
MICRO REVIEW OF FUCHSIA – THE KENYON REVIEW
WHITE IS COLOR, BLACK IS ART, INTERVIEW – SHORT STORY DAY AFRICA
25 NEW BOOKS BY AFRICAN WRITERS YOU SHOULD READ – LITERARY HUB
BOOKS BY BLACK AUTHORS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2016 – THE ROOT
FUCHSIA, INTERVIEW – OTIS COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN
FUCHSIA, INTERVIEW – PRAIRIE SCHOONER 
FUCHSIA, REVIEW – PLUME POETRY
FUCHSIA, REVIEW – FOURTH & SYCAMORE
FUCHSIA, INTERVIEW – POETRY L.A.