Tyehimba Jess

(Detroit)

Tyehimba Jess
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Tyehimba Jess (born Detroit) is an American poet.

He graduated from the University of Chicago, and New York University, with an MFA. He teaches poetry and fiction at CUNY College of Staten Island and is the faculty adviser for Caesura, the university's literary arts magazine.

His work appeared in Soul Fires: Young Black Men on Love and Violence, Obsidian III: Literature in the African Diaspora, Power Lines: Ten Years of Poetry from Chicago's Guild Complex, and Slam: The Art of Performance Poetry. more »

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Best Poem of Tyehimba Jess

Alabaster Hands

Let me tell you how
white hands kilned me
in the moonless middle
of night. How they stripped
and spittled and smeared me
in an open field hardened
with ice. How they worked so
diligently upon me with palm
and fist and angry sweat,
with knuckle and dirty nail,
until I was struck still as stone,
until I was one with the dust
of the Earth that called my name,
whispered to me from its labyrinth
of lava and buried bone. My truth
was honed there, deep in the fated
crease between life and loss.
It willed me to rise from the dirt
and staggered me ...

Read the full of Alabaster Hands

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