A Body of Water
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A Body of Water


Title Details

Pages: 104

Illustrations: 1 b&w image

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 02/15/2021

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5857-4

List Price: $23.95


Pub Date: 02/15/2021

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5858-1

List Price: $23.95

Subsidies and Partnerships

Published with the generous support of Georgia and Bruce McEver Fund for the Arts and Environment

A Body of Water


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  • Description
  • Reviews

Beautiful and lyrical, Chioma Urama's A Body of Water is a poetic exploration of ancestry in the American South. These poems are the result of a conversation Urama opened with her ancestors, whose documented and oral histories have been fragmented by a history of enslavement. Urama’s examination of generational trauma collapses linear time and posits that the traumas of the past are present within the consciousness of our bodies until we transmute the energy surrounding them.

The work ebbs and flows between pared-down poems where erasure and white space take on substance and roiling lyric essays that fold in divergent voices from historic documents, music, and film. This collection is both vulnerable and political; a meditation on love and grief; an exploration of loss and connectivity. These poems embrace imagination as a tool to emotionally traverse spaces within history that we are told we cannot enter. A Body of Water is an act of remembering, engaging with the idea that “all water has a perfect memory,” and nothing is ever truly lost.

From the ‘pastoral violence of Virginia childhood’ to the fabled complexity of an American universe, these poems take us through the protean intersections of history and geography, kinsfolk and folkways, the racial self and the othering world, sobering cogitations and regenerative laughter. Here are the songs of a poet who, like the African griot, is energized by an abiding faith in the restorative power of the Word, one capable of dreaming ‘the word that/would save us all.’

—Niyi Osundare, author of If Only the World Could Talk

There’s nothing better than being loved by a poet. Truly loved by the words of a true poet. For this is a book, first and foremost, that loves. Love received into the poet’s heart, gifted back to the hearts of her readers. . . . Chioma Urama’s A Body of Water is all human and all Yemaya, a stunning lyrical debut from a young woman who crosses multiple boundaries lovingly and seamlessly. She tells us: ‘Take what meaning you will.’ And her words change the souls that receive them, as if the words are grace.

—Maureen Seaton, author of Sweet World

About the Author/Editor

CHIOMA URAMA's poetry and fiction have been published in the Southern Humanities Review, Pleiades, Blackbird, Paper Darts, the Normal School, and Prairie Schooner. She received a Fred Shaw Fiction Prize and an honorable mention from the Lindenwood Review Lyric Essay Contest. Urama is a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship alumna and a graduate of the University of Miami MFA program, where she was a Michener Fellow. She teaches creative writing and English composition at the University of New Orleans.