From the poet, novelist, and cultural icon behind the award-winning and celebrated Broadway play, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, comes an evocative and moving bilingual collection of new and beloved poems.
In this stirring collection of more than sixty original and selected poems in both English and Spanish, Ntozake Shange shares her utterly unique, unapologetic, and deeply emotional writing that has made her one of the most iconic literary figures of our time.
With a clear, raw, and affecting voice, Shange draws from her experience as a feminist black woman in American to craft groundbreaking poetry about pain, beauty, and color. In the bestselling tradition of Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey, Wild Beauty is more than a poetry collection; it is an exquisite call to action for a new generation of women, people of color, feminists, and activists to follow in the author’s footsteps in the pursuit of equality and understanding. As The New York Times raves, “Ntozake Shange writes with such exquisite care and beauty that anyone can relate to her message.”
Acclaimed poet, playwright, and novelist Shange, best known for her play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow Is Enuf, takes readers on a kaleidoscopic journey through black womanhood in her first selected volume. Translated into Spanish by Alejandro lvarez Nieves, the collection spans the course of her prolific 40-year career in both languages. The poems showcase vibrant narratives of black women who are neither solely saints nor sinners. For Shange, it is important to capture the inner lives of black women without judgment and provide a voice for those who have been oppressed by self-imposed silence. In the opening poem, she envisions a new type of deity: "we need a god who bleeds now/ whose wounds are not/ some small male vengeance/ some pitiful concession to humility." Shange often deals with the consequences of failed dreams, as in the poem "Five": "livin dreams'll make ya crazy/ livin dreams'll lead ya to the/ end/ s of yrself." Shange's ability to breathe life into myriad characters and voices is on display throughout the collection. And, despite the instances of disappointment, violence, and struggle, the poems all highlight hope, joy, and optimism. This is an exemplary representation of Shange's body of poetic work.