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Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat by Khalisa Rae

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Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat by Khalisa Rae

What happens when a midwestern girl migrates to a haunted Southern town, whose river is a graveyard, whose streets bear the names of southern slave owners? How can she build a home where Confederate symbols strategically stand in the center of town? Can she save the chilling truths of her ancestors? What will she do to cope with the traumatizing ghostliness of the present-day South?

Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat is a heart-wrenching reconciliation and confrontation of the living, breathing ghosts that awaken black women each day. This collection summons multiple hauntings—ghosts of matriarchs that came before, those that were slain, and those that continue to speak to us, but also those horrors women of color strive to put to rest. Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat examines the haunting feeling of facing past demons while grappling with sexism, racism, and bigotry. They are all present: ancestral ghosts, societal ghosts, and spiritual, internal hauntings. This book calls out for women to speak their truth in hopes of settling the ghosts or at least being at peace with them.


"Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat pursues agency, selfhood, and disturbing meditations on inhumanity. These poems deliver truth and rage with the precision of a visionary heart and the rancid tears of a poisoned ghost.

This powerful collection bears witness to the fraught overlap between women’s bodies and minds. Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat reframes the black body politic as sacrament, benediction, delicacy, and tenderness.

These verses are timeless refrains sizzling on parched tongues. All praises for the testament of these poems that bring a full communion of blessed assurances to wise women daring oceans to erase our footprints and to wild girls chasing winds that steal the scent of herstory."
—Jaki Shelton Green, author of I Want to Undie You


Khalisa Rae is a queer black poet, educator, and activist, who speaks and writes with fierce rebellion. She published her first book, Real Girls Have Real Problems, in 2012 with Sable Books. Her recent work has been seen in numerous publications including Glass PoetryHomology LitHelleboreTishman ReviewObsidianNew Shoots’ annualanthology, Red Door, and Red Press’ The Anatomy of Silence anthology, among others. She is a finalist for the Lucille Clifton Prize, the Furious Flower Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, and a winner of the Fem Lit Magazine Contest and the Voicemail Poetry Contest. She is Managing Equity and Inclusion Editor of Carve Magazine, a Consulting Editor of Kissing Dynamite, and co-founder of Athenian Press—a social justice arts collective and literary safe space for women/femme/gnc/trans folks.

Her boutique poetry and art collection is the recent winner of the White Stag Publishing Contest. She is currently an English professor at St. Augustine University.

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