My Sisters' Country
Alexis V. Jackson's completely original debut poetry collection MY SISTERS' COUNTRY is out from Kore Press in January 2022. Jackson artfully braids together a multi-vocal chorus of Black women's voices across, over, under, and through time. Included in the vast array of voices are her great-grandmother, Black feminist scholar Hortense Spillers, musical artist Missy Elliott, and the wide-brimmed, white-gloved church ladies of her Philadelphia youth. Jackson bends and breaks forms like the sonnet, pantoum, and zuihitsu and introduces the playlist poem as she explores the makings of Black girlhood and womanhood. Staying true to the beauties, traumas, moans and undoings found there, the poet invites readers to consider the ways Black women, who were once considered countryless property, made country out of and in one another, and asks the questions: What are the consequences? How terrifying and beautiful are they? How terrifying and beautiful is the rebuilding, the renaming, of country? Vast in scope and style, Jackson's collection is deeply influenced by Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, rapper Lil' Kim, gospel singers CeCe Winans and the Clark Sisters, actor-singer Jill Scott, as well as her favorite pastor.
"Jackson's scope is limitless. 'Christ is supposed to give me salvation for my soul, / but what about my thighs, and my mouth, and my pancreas,' she writes. This is a book of the body, unbound by convention while creating entirely new ones."--Lynn Melnick
"There are some voices who come along and remind you of the beauty in our vulnerability. They write in a way that doesn't leave us exposed but holds us close as we face the truths of our lives. Alexis Jackson is one such writer."--Candice Benbow
"From Gwendolyn Brooks to June Jordan to the Book of Genesis, Jackson's debut poetry sizzles and samples with mischief. It's gutbucket, daredevil, Double Dutch, next-generation sass."--Yona Harvey