South Flight (Georgia Poetry Prize) (Paperback)
Loyalty Silver Spring has Moved!
In her debut poetry collection, Jasmine Elizabeth Smith takes inspiration from Oklahoma Black history. In the wake of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, Jim Waters makes the difficult decision to leave behind his lover, Beatrice Vernadene Chapel, who as a Black woman must navigate the dangerous climate that produced the Jim Crow South and Red Summer. As Beatrice and Jim write letters to one another and hold imagined conversations with blues musicians Ida B. Cox, Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Ethel Waters, and the ghosts of Greenwood, the couple interrogates themes of blues epistemology, Black feminism, fraught attachments, and the way in which Black Americans have often changed their geographical regions with the hope of improving their conditions. The poetry collection South Flight is a eulogy, a blues, an unabashed love letter, and ragtime to the history of resistance, migration, and community in Black Oklahoma.
About the Author
JASMINE ELIZABETH SMITH is a poet from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is a Cave Canem fellow. Smith's poetic work has been featured in Black Renaissance Noir, POETRY, Terrain's Letter to America anthology, and World Literature Today, among other publications. She was a finalist for the 2020 National Poetry Series. Smith is the poetry editor and a poetry program specialist for the Black Lights Art Collective and a cohost of the radio show Baby Poet. She currently teaches language arts and creative writing and lives in Seattle.