Praise & Reviews

“A wondrous work, like Jean Toomer’s Cane”  – Arthur Flowers, Another Good Loving Blues and I See the Promised the Land

“Sheree R. Thomas’s collection of stories and poems, SHOTGUN LULLABIES, is lyrical magic!” – Andrea Hairston, Redwood and Wildfire and Lonely Stardust, winner of the Tiptree Jr. Award and the Carl Brandon Award

Shotgun Lullabies brighter

SHOTGUN LULLABIES: Stories and Poems (Aqueduct Press)

“She renders the oral tradition of storytelling into stunning prose, effortlessly capturing the feel of performance. The words spring off the page and dance. I hear the rhythm and music of each narrator; I feel the physical power of her tall tales and sly mysteries; I smell and taste the world that she conjures. Sheree engages all the senses and delights the mind with her stories and poems. She succeeds in offering a fresh narrative style–an Afrospeculative approach, to use her term, that brings past, present and future together in a powerful idiomatic mix that sounds familiar yet deliciously new.

Her imagination doesn’t let you get away with anything. She’s a 21st century conjure woman!

I can’t get enough of her poetic language, speculative history, and 21st century mythology. The Suki-stories and the Shotgun Lullabies–poems and stories–are an ingenious re-figuring of history. Sheree’s fluency in African-American history and folk narratives is a delightful undercurrent to her speculative inventions. Tall tales remind us how much living is possible. Sheree challenges us to define ourselves, tell our stories, wield the powers that come to us from our foremothers, and face the forces that would thwart or destroy us before we have a chance at conjuring the world we want to live in.

Go out and buy this book now!” – Andrea Hairston

“Among the best works are Sheree Renée Thomas’s poetic myth ‘How Sukie Cross De Big Wata’…” – Publisher’s Weekly

Mojo: Conjure Stories edited by Nalo Hopkinson (Warner Books)

Mojo: Conjure Stories

MOJO: Conjure Stories edited by Nalo Hopkinson (Warner Books)

Many Americans know “mojo” is Southern slang for powerful magic. But few Americans know the word originated in West Africa and referred to a small cloth bag containing protective magicks. The origin of mojo is as obscure to Americans as the religious, spiritual, and magical beliefs of Africa, which are far less familiar than the religions and myths of Europe and Asia. Acclaimed author/editor Nalo Hopkinson addresses this imbalance with her anthology Mojo: Conjure Stories, which collects 19 original stories of magic and gods and mortals, set in locales that range from a pre-Civil War plantation to modern Oakland, from Nineteenth-Century England to underground New York City.

Contributors range from big names like Steven Barnes, Neil Gaiman, and Barbara Hambly to exciting new authors (however, editor Hopkinson unfortunately does not contribute a story). Among the best works are Sheree Renée Thomas’s poetic myth “How Sukie Cross De Big Wata.”

Publisher’s Weekly

Readers will find plenty of horror here…but also humor, in the lively exaggerations of a tall tale in Sheree Renée Thomas’s “How Sukie Cross De Big Wata.” These are stories best read at intervals, the better to savor the flavor of each…”

— Pamela Sargent, SCIFI.com

The Ringing Ear is dotted with captivating examples, such as Sheree Renée Thomas”

The Ringing Ear anthology

THE RINGING EAR: Black Poets Lean South edited by Nikky Finney (University of Georgia Press)

The Ringing Ear is filled with a chorus of diverse voices that come together to talk story. Like the two other anthologies, the contents include various forms and plenty of free verse. (In an interesting example of cross-cultural exchange, where Asian American Poetry does not include even one haiku, The Ringing Ear is dotted with captivating examples, such as Sheree Renée Thomas…

San Antonio Current, Pablo Miguel Martínez

“Sheree Renée Thomas’s sexy, sensual … River is in clear possession of her voice, an assured voice, a confident voice” – Versification

moment of change

THE MOMENT OF CHANGE: An Anthology o Feminist Speculative Poetry edited by Rose Lemberg (Aqueduct Press)

River in Sheree Renée Thomas’s sexy, sensual “untitled Old Scratch poem, featuring River” is in clear possession of her voice, an assured voice, a confident voice. River listens to Old Scratch “hum humming softly, wine / and sultry whispers” but won’t be moved by his importuning:

like I don’t know he sang
that same tired song to Old Sista Sky …
I let his sugar lies
drop like old stones
in the bottom of the sea
and swing my big hips
on by, on by

And this brief survey doesn’t even begin to cover the collection’s riches.

– Versification: Speculative Poetry Reviews

“…poetic and conversational…[t]his is wonderful fun to read…entrancing imagery and language” – Strange Horizons

mythic_2

MYTHIC 2 edited by Mike Allen (Mythic Delirium Books)

Let me direct your attention first in this direction—no, I mean upward—to the home of the gods. We may see Athena, or perhaps Wotan. No . . . no, we see something a little different. Sheree Renée Thomas’s poem “Once” is a modern quasi-myth told in a style that is both poetic and conversational. The poem’s narrative voice relates how Old Sista Sky gets her hair done by Old Scratch. It is a stormy process: thunder is the sound made by untangling her hair, lightning is the firing up of her hot comb, rain is her crying as Old Scratch parts her hair:

       ‘cuz everybody know
Old Sista tenderheaded
cry like she ain’t got
no natural
sense (38)

Ultimately, Sky’s fit of temper when the cornrow braiding becomes too painful leads to a cosmic event:

Old Sista don’ up and snatch the devil comb
she beat Scratch above, beat Scratch below
they fought so long, they forgot the damn stove
hot comb burnin’, hair grease smokin’
the heat turnt up too high
great blast of fire is how Sun got to Sky (39)

This is wonderful fun to read: the poem has a voice of great individuality, broad humor, and a created mythology like no other. Another poem by Thomas, called “untitled Old Scratch poem, featuring River,” is included as well—it is not as humorous, but just as entrancing in imagery and language.

— Donna Royston, Strange Horizons

 

“full of pure, sensual experience…invoked beautifully” – B&N

So Long Been Dreaming

SO LONG BEEN DREAMING: Postcolonial Science Fiction & Fantasy edited by Uppinder Mehan and Nalo Hopkinson (Arsenal Press)

“The two stories I found best full of pure sensual experience were “The Grassdreaming Tree” by Sheree R. Thomas and “Scarabs Multiply” by Nnedi Okorafor. Ms. Thomas’s story presents the outcast in society as an outsider trying to break into village life. I’m used to seeing grasshoppers as villains but in this story, they act as a force of nature that the outsider invokes beautifully. Add to this the fact that the outsider captures the heart of a like-minded youngster and you get heartbreaking drama.”

BarnesandNoble.com

 

“Downs has assembled an impressive range of talent for this issue of Alicubi…I liked Sheree Renée Thomas‘ ‘Cusco,’ about a place where:

women pull back black shining hair

from burnished foreheads

as smooth as polished stones

Ingrid Woodrow, review of Alicubi for PiF Magazine.com

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