Who are Black Creoles? Saloy's new poems address ancestral connections to contemporary life, traditions celebrated, New Orleans Black life today, Louisiana Black life today, enduring and surviving hurricanes, romance, #BlackLivesMatter, #wematter, as well as poems of the pandemic lockdown from New Orleans. Saloy's new collection of verse advances and updates narratives of Black life to now, including day-to-day Black speech, the lives of culture keepers, and family tales. These poems detail cultural and historical memory of enslavement not taught and offer healing and hope for tomorrow.
"This is a poetry of the spirit, of the ancestors."
—Jericho Brown, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Tradition
"Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy beautifully captures the culture and essence of Louisiana in her mesmerizing poetry."
—Gov. John Bel Edwards
"... a poet who opens the hidden wound in order to heal us."
—Dr. Laura Mullen, William R. Kenan Jr. Chair in the Humanities at Wake Forest University
"[A] major collection of breath-taking poetry"
—Cynthia Hogue, author of instead, it is dark
Mona Lisa Saloy, author, folklorist, educator, and scholar, is an award-winning author of contemporary Creole culture in poems about Black New Orleans before and after Katrina. As a folklorist, Saloy documents sidewalk songs, jump-rope rhymes, and clap-hand games to discuss the importance of play. As a poet, her first book, Red Beans & Ricely Yours, won the T.S. Eliot Prize and the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award. She's written on the significance of the Black Beat poets, on the African American Toasting Tradition, on Black & Creole talk, and on conditions and keeping Creole after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Her work captures the day-to-day New Orleans speech, contemplates family dynamics, celebrates New Orleans, and all in a way everyday people can enjoy.