Understanding the horrors of slavery: A review of “Dear Slave”

dear-slave-coverDear Slave is a savvy chapbook of exceptional poems composed by Irene Latham, award-winning poet and author of Fresh Delicious: Poems from the Farmers’ Market and the YA novel Leaving Gee’s Bend. The poems were written in light of the individual slave stories collected by Southern folklorist and essayist, Ruby Pickens Tartt.

The marvels and interest of subjection are cleared through Latham’s heart, as she profoundly craves to have a word with the slaves of the past, sharing her most serious assumptions and contemplation. All through this small chapbook, she communicates her blame, bitterness, and even appreciation for the spirits of those slaves. Composing letters to them as lyrics, she discusses their encounters while giving her assessment and assigning her regret to every individual slave. Each poem addresses a slave by name, recollecting the torment through which that person’s flesh, mind, heart, and soul persevered.

About Dear Slave, author Tricia Springstubb had this to say:

“The dead live on in infinite ways. From beyond the grave, they comfort, they accuse. They nourish, they destroy . . . For the living to be haunted, all that is required is a memory.”

Dear Slave is available from Blue Rooster Press for $5.00.


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