Organized into five parts – wind, soil, water, sky, and breath – and featuring creative writing by thirty-one contributors, the collection is simultaneously a rallying cry for the land and people we build our homes in; a spell for strength and safe passage through tribulation; and a celebration of the power and brilliance of women.
The anthology features introductions by Krista Perez, founder of The Tacoma Women of Color Collective, and Brandi Douglas, owner of Multifaceted Matriarch. The anthology was partially funded by the Tacoma Arts Commission.
We Need a Reckoning contributors include Kim Archer, Gaian Rena Bird, Phebe Brako-Owusu, Aleyda Marisol Cervantes, Judy Cuellar, Paula Davidson, Brandi Douglas, Chanel Athena Estrada, Katherine Felts, Marissa Harrison, Jasmine Hernandez, Janae Hill, Lauren Perez Hoogkamer, Isha Hussein, Eileen Jimenez, Kathleen Julca, Marisha McDowell, Stasha Moreno, gloria joy kazuko muhammad, Celia Nimura-Parmenter, Krista Perez, Lev Pouliot, Saiyare Refaei, Kellie Richardson, Katharine Threat, Kaia Valentine, Lydia K. Valentine, Tina Văn, Christina Vega, Jesi Hanley Vega, and Jami Williams.
On November 3, Blue Cactus Press and readers in the U.S. and Singapore all hopped on zoom to celebrate the official launch of her debut poetry collection, Red Earth. The event kicked off with a few words from the publishers of Blue Cactus Press and Pagesetters, whom collaborated over an ocean to bring this incredible collection of poems to life, and words from Illustrator and artist Shuyin, poet Gina Hietpas, and author and editor Yeow Kai Chai. The main event included readings by Esther Vincent Xueming, followed by a casual Q&A from audience members.
About Esther Vincent Xueming
Esther Vincent Xuemingis the editor-in-chief and founder of The Tiger Moth Review, an independent eco journal of art and literature based in Singapore. She is the author of Red Earth and co-editor of two poetry anthologies, Poetry Moves (Ethos Books, 2020) and Little Things (Ethos Books, 2013), and Making Kin, an ecofeminist anthology of personal essays by women writers in Singapore (Ethos Books). A literature educator by profession, she is passionate about the relationships between art, literature and the environment. Follow her on Twitter @EstherVincentXM.
Robert Lashley’s book launch for Green River Valley was powerful and surprisingly emotional (in positive ways), thanks to Robert, who shared his poems and experience in the editorial process, and guests Jodi Poorwill, Graham Isaac, and Kellie Richardson! Watch the video below, then scroll down for some cool BONUS CONTENT from Robert!
BONUS CONTENT: 10 Books That Influenced Green River Valley
Fans of Robert will be delighted to know he put together a reading list of 10 books that influenced Green River Valley! Read below to get a sense of who and what had an impact on Robert and his writing over the years!
Schooled in the modernists and the Harlem renaissance poets, adept in tight forms and ornate Jacobean blank verse, Brooks made her people, city, and block in Brownsville as eternal as any poet’s in the living world.
Heaney is one of world poetry’s great adults, stylists, and working class heroes. He wrote about Ireland in such a beautiful, universal, and precise way that made a ghetto nerd from 23rd and G see himself in it.
Where Walcott ends his remarkable (if flawed) career with one of the strongest books of poems he’d ever written; a lean, exact, and gorgeous collection immersed in nothing but the fundamentals of his gifts.
For my money, Szymborska is poetry’s great misanthropic philosopher; and like every great misanthrope, the sharpness of her wit was that wall that guarded a heart affected by WWII, Stalinism, and the callowness of the human condition in a modern age.
This book is an ambitious, one-man excavation of Black American history from the slave trade to present of his time, with numerous symbols of and references to Black history, culture, and folklore. Also one of English language poetry’s great stylists, with a supple ear to fuse black vernaculars with a grand, lyric, formal language.
In creating a Christian conversion story, Eliot humanized his towering voice, turning from the surfeit data and darkwarter bigotries of his earlier work to a more empathetic perspective on the human condition.
At first I was surprised that her nature poems didn’t have the haunted stripped down sorrow of early Frost, or the mercilessly kinetic Darwinism of Dickinson’s gangsta ass pastorals. However, that very gentle need of hers to find a way beyond the blues makes her nature imagery work for me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robert Lashley is a writer and activist whose was a 2016 Jack Straw Fellow, Artist Trust Fellow, and a nominee for a Stranger Genius Award. He has had work published in The Seattle Review of Books, NAILED, Poetry Northwest, McSweeney’s, and The Cascadia Review. His poetry was also featured in such anthologies as Many Trails to The Summitt, Foot Bridge Above The Falls, Get Lit, Make It True, and It Was Written. His previous books include The Homeboy Songs (2014), and Up South (2017), both published by Small Doggies Press. In 2019, The Homeboy Songs was named by Entropy Magazine as one of the 25 most essential books to come out of the Seattle area.
On March 19th, we officially released Moss Covered Claws, the debut short story collection of Queer, speculative fiction by Jonah Barrett! Hit play below to watch the event and revel in the phenomenal storytelling, fake piano playing, and overall good cheer of the event!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JONAH BARRETT is a nonbinary filmmaker, writer, and multimedia artist. They usually find themself in old haunted buildings or overgrown swamps.
For those who couldn’t make it to our Fall Reading, never fear: we recorded the full event! You can now enjoy it at your convenience! Our reading lineup was made up of authors whose non-fiction writing graced our pages (and screens) earlier this summer. The lineup included Yousef Allouzi,Gina Hietpas, Tamiko Nimura, and Samuel Snoek-Brown. Grab a glass of wine, sit your butt down in a soft chair, and hit play, friends!
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
YOUSEF ALLOUZI is an author and data analyst currently living in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a BS in Economics and a Master of Public Policy from Oregon State University. He’s also the author of The Bedouin, a memoir essay and chapbook published in July, 2020 (Blue Cactus Press).
GINA HIETPAS is a self–taught poet, born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. Nowadays, she lives outside Sequim, Washington, on a small farm with her husband, a few cows and a passel of chickens. She’s the author of Terrain, a poetry collection delving into allyship, healing, nature and care, published in September, 2020 (Blue Cactus Press).
TAMIKO NIMURA is a third-generation Japanese American and second-generation Filipina American. She’s a freelance writer, essayist, community journalist, and public historian. She just published her first book, Rosa Franklin: A Life in Health Care, Public Service, and Social Justice, in 2019 (Washington State Oral History Program).
SAMUEL SNOEK-BROWN teaches and writes in the Pacific Northwest. He’s the author the Civil War novel Hagridden, the short story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them, and flash-fiction chapbooks Box Cutters and Where There Is Ruin. He also works as a production editor for Jersey Devil Press, and he lives online at snoekbrown.com.