[03/15/24] Jackson, Linda Susan: Truth Be Told

[03/15/24] Jackson, Linda Susan: Truth Be Told

Regular price $17.95 Sale

Four Way Books, paperback

Publication Date: March 15, 2024

Publisher Marketing: A stunning sophomore release, Linda Susan Jackson's newest poetry collection, Truth be Told, looks at the myriad treasures and complexities of Black womanhood by channeling an eclectic cast whose rich interactions testify to the timeless neglect of girlhood, the bond of long-term friendship and the responsibilities of authorship. Here Pecola Breedlove, the protagonist from The Bluest Eye, addresses herself directly to Toni Morrison and connects, over time and space, with Persephone, a girl herself, cycling always toward the seasons, caught between an overbearing mother, an incomprehensible father and a grooming god; Lot's wife sets the record straight about turning back; and our speaker writes to and through her lineage, memorializing her great-grandmother's distilled wisdom and others who have impacted her, such as when she writes to the great blues singer, Etta James. In a meticulous inventory of our world and its historical inheritance, Jackson makes an undaunted cartographer, mapping "here: rag-wicked IED" to "there: t-shaped IUD," from "here: the mother I longed for" to " there: the mother I had." If Jackson recognizes the distance between our ideals and our reality as a kind of tragedy, she also resists despair, enjoining us to close the gap with hope for the future and to: "Step here: light the fire/ Step there: fire the cannon." Every poem is a spark struck, a cannonade hailing the resilient and enigmatic joy of language. "After decades with no history," Jackson sagely celebrates, "That I sing at all is a mystery." A mystery, yes, but moreover -- a blessing for those of us enthralled by her song of love.