Brassbones & Rainbows


The Collected Works of Shirley Bradley LeFlore
Foreword by Amina Baraka
Introduction by Gabrielle David
May 2013 | ISBN: 978-0-9884763-8-7 (ebook)

SKU: BR052013FR Category: Tags: , ,


BRASSBONES & RAINBOWS is the debut poetry collection of Shirley Bradley LeFlore, an oral poet and performance artist from St. Louis, Missouri who has been on the literary scene for over five decades. While LeFlore tackles social, political and cultural issues with a profound love for humanity, she also provides insight into self-identity, inner-strength, beauty and faith. A literary griot, LeFlore shares the fabric of verse through jazz, blues and gospel in an easy going, smooth and soothing Southern American dialect mixed with African American Vernacular English serving as musical notes. BRASSBONES & RAINBOWS is a stunning testament to Shirley Bradley LeFlore, a story singer whose words will certainly roll off your tongue.

What People Are Saying

Shirley LeFlore is an original. Her collaborations with musicians, dancers and artists, is obvious — she is as much a musician as a poet — improvising/using melody, harmony and rhythm in her writing. Some of the images she conjuures / go thru you / hip & insightful. Brassbones & Rainbows is a powerful work!

— Oliver Lake, Musician and Poet

“You can’t be jivin when her voice be horn.” Shirley Bradley LeFlore’s poems refine our world. Her voice is bold, vivid, brave, thick with heart and history. These poems snatch the wind from b’tween the legs of ancestors, and sing, sing her beautiful deepthroat brassband into our skins. LeFlore is a river woman mending our pain, renewing our spirits. Listen! She be whistling griot songs from the Gullah of her drum.

— Cheryl Boyce Taylor, Poet/Curator Calypso Muse Reading Series

Shirley Bradley LeFlore’s book has come just in time. The beauty and majesty of her words has saved me from the paralyzing grip of “poetic humdrum.” Its been quite a while since I’ve jumped heart first into a book. Sang and danced a blue light grind with its metaphors. Thank you Shirley. You’ve got me believing in magic again.

— Layding Kaliba
author of In the Absence of God (Blind Beggar Press),
co-founder of “The Linyak Project”

Shirley LeFlore has long been regarded as a great performance poet and served her community, as few poets do, as unofficial spiritual minister, presiding at weddings, funerals, and other significant life events. Here in her first full collection, essential poems to turn to & return to like valued friends. A book to be celebrated and treasured.

— Michael Castro, Poet and Arts Activist

My closest literary colleague among a worthy group of writers with whom I have worked with for decades, Shirley Bradley LeFlore personifies her unique expressions of black feminine experience as she gets “my bread buttered on both sides” one way or another.

— J.D. Parran, Multi-woodwind improviser, composer and educator


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