When the Trees Finally Testify

Bonita Lee Penn

Poets have the impossible task of balancing their mind and spirit, their duende, and all of the histories around them into lyric movements of inspiration and protest. Most poets can’t manage all their disparate obligations, but as readers will soon recognize, Bonita Penn can and does in her stunning new collection When the Trees Finally Testify. Only a poet as deft as Penn can call out the American traditions of violence and oppression with the same strength and clarity as she praises Black generosity and love. When the Trees Finally Testify is a book of texture and capaciousness like none I’ve read before. These are poems of awareness and witness. These are poems of resistance and bounty. –Adrian Matejka, Editor, Poetry magazine

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