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"Whether done deliberately or as a result of her natural intuitive ability to convey the collisional elements that one might express about the poor and disenfranchised, the Black underclass and those forgotten. Banks-Martin's poems propel the reader into their world, no matter how far the two worlds might be apart. It is through sheer virtue of her imagery, sensitivity, and mastery of poet skills that this lavish tapestry of the weight of life in the South is exemplified. Her dedication to keeping the images she paints in these poems authentic, is unquestionable. Still, somehow the language used in this collection is innovative and fresh.


Each poem is a precision instrument of well-crafted verse, that tells a story in a pregnant and creative calliopean voice that chastise pro-southern sentiments. The poems declare both the dread and anticipation of leaving the familiar behind for the promise of a better life in the unknown. Nevertheless, among all the trepidation she still manages to compose poetry that is as light as the dogwood blossoms being swept down the street in one poem by the wind. "Rhapsody For Lessons Learned Or


Remembered" teams with abstractions and is laced with fancy ribbons of stoical lyricism. It challenges the reader to confront their own ideas about the Tooth Fairy, upright pianos, quilt making, and the stairs of Montgomery. Banks-Martin encourages us to look at America's civil rights struggle in an entirely new way. It also serves as a reminder of how far America has come in its effort to heal itself of its wounds, licking them one by one, as a cat would."


---Maurice Oliver, editor of Concelebratory Shoehorn Review

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