Willow Books Announces Cedric Tillman's LILIES IN THE VALLEY
Tillman's religion-inflected Southern slang spices poems divided into sections with names such as "This Little Light of Mine" and "Parables." His work contemplates themes ranging from pop culture and the drudgeries of working in retail to love, family & faith. Myra Sklarew, Professor Emerita at American University (Lithuania: New & Selected Poems), hails Tillman's capacity for "maneuvering between the sacred and the secular" and lauds the collection for its "...unforgettable people...Ms. Johnnie who offers protection to a woman whose husband has pushed her down the stairs: 'if you want/I got something that'll bark over here/and bite over yonder.' And the answer: 'The Lord'll judge/between me and he.' But our narrator doesn't leave it there; he goes to a harder place: 'that black print showing/through his Wild Irish white-out' ("Memory"). This is Robert Hayden's American Journal brought forward from the distance into a world that is authentic, intimate, loving..." Brian Gilmore, poet & associate professor of Law at Michigan State University (Elvis Presley is alive and living in Harlem) acclaims Lilies as "...poetic scripture...modern poetry...grounded in the past. It is hip-hop and Sunday morning, church dinner chatter, love and happiness, Carolina shouts and sermons."