A collection of poems written by and read by ninth Poet Laureate of North Carolina and the first African American and third woman to hold the title--Jaki Shelton GreenŠ-presenting 11 texts with experimental sound work arranged by Shirlette Ammons, a fascinating set of observations and an insightful selection of "political statement, cultural commentary, and an aesthetic milestone".
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Label: Soul City Sounds
Catalog ID: SCS-0001
Squidco Product Code: 32368
Packaging: Cardstock Sleeve
Recorded from September, 2019, to March, 2020, by Alec Ferrell.
Jaki Shelton Green-text, vocals
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• Show Bio for Jaki Shelton Green
"Jaki Shelton Green, ninth Poet Laureate of North Carolina is the first African American and third woman to be appointed as the North Carolina Poet Laureate. She is a 2019 Academy of American Poet Laureate Fellow, 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame Inductee, 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate appointment, 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature. Jaki Shelton Green teaches Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and was appointed the 2021 Frank B. Hanes Writer in Residence at UNC Chapel Hill. Additionally, she received the George School Outstanding Alumni Award in 2021. Her publications include: Dead on Arrival, Masks, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, breath of the song, published by Blair Publishers. Feeding the Light, i want to undie you published by Jacar Press, i want to undie you English /Italian bilingual edition published by Lebeg Publishers. On Juneteenth 2020, she released her first LP, poetry album, The River Speaks of Thirst, produced by Soul City Sounds and Clearly Records. Jaki Shelton Green is the owner of SistaWRITE providing writing retreats for women writers in Sedona Arizona, Martha's Vineyard, Ocracoke North Carolina, Northern Morocco, and Tullamore Ireland."-Jaki Shelton Green Website (https://jakisheltongreen.com/about-jaki/)
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1. This I Know For Sure (Featuring Jennifer Evans) 6:04
2. Madwoman 4:06
3. The Communion Of White Dresses 5:17
4. Letter From The Other Daughter Of The Confederacy 5:48
5. A Litany For The Possessed (Featuring Shirlette Ammons) 3:48
6. DJinn 0:16
7. I Wanted To Ask The Trees 5:38
8. Oh My Brother 6:14
9. No Poetry (Featuring Cj Suitt) 3:53
10. The River Speaks Of Thirst (Featuring Nnenna Freelon) 8:18
11. A Litany For The Possessed (Featuring Shirlette Ammons - Radio Edit) 3:48
sample the album:
"The Justice Theater Project is proud and honored to present The River Speaks of Thirst, a collection of audio poems written by Jaki Shelton Green documenting the real experiences of African American people past and present. In this unique production, each poem is a separate story/vignette using various mediums including music, dance, song, and dramatic interpretations to illustrate themes ranging from race, oppression, emancipation, religion, and grief. Director and Choreographer Kristi V. Johnson explains her vision, "As I listened to each poem, there wasn't one that did not connect with some aspect of my upbringing as an African American woman growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Additionally, the poems about the young black men who died from police brutality reminded me of the anger, fear, and pain I feel as a mother of a young, brown boy. After speaking with Jaki, there were so many commonalities in our backgrounds, these stories became personal for me as well. Once I was able to draw connections between the material and my personal life, I intended to create a symbiotic relationship between the music, text, and movement that clearly illustrates the various themes within the work to enhance its accessibility for all audience members."-Soul City Sounds
"Jaki Shelton Green releases her first album The River Speaks of Thirst on Soul City Sounds, Juneteenth, 2020. The North Carolina Poet Laureate has written eight books of poetry and has been published in over 80 national and international anthologies, featured in such magazines as Essence and Ms. Magazine.
PopMatters contributor John Amen says of the album: "The River Speaks of Thirst is at once a political statement, cultural commentary, and an aesthetic milestone, a skillful commingling of galvanic activism and evocative poetry . . . Jaki Shelton Green documents the history of blackness, a segment of which is the history of the United States, if not the Americas at large - the atrocities, the triumphs, and the work still to be done."
The River Speaks of Thirst is a bold, challenging collection of poetry set to supportive and often startling sonic accompaniment. Its resonant ambience is a perfect match to the focused ferocity and tenderness of the performances. Engineered, arranged, and produced by Alec Ferrell at Clearly Records in Durham, NC, and Executive Produced by Phil Venable, the full-length features incendiary anthems from Jaki and featured guests including featuring Shirlette Ammons on "A Litany for the Possessed" and Grammy-nominated vocalist Nnenna Freelon in a haunting call-and- response on the title track."-Soul City Sounds
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