Cover Art: Lorna Simpson
Cover & Interior Design: Alban Fischer
Paperback | 124 Pages
August 11, 2020 | ISBN 978-1-936919-75-8
Read the review up at EcoTheo Review
Read the interview with Aricka Foreman up at The Adroit Journal
Check out the feature with Aricka Foreman up at Poetry Society of America
About Salt Body Shimmer
Lyrical and rife with utterance, Salt Body Shimmer asks of the violence we inherit: who speaks from “the threshold throat” inside “the dark’s dark”? Interior driven and intimately political, the poems in this stunning debut coax and trouble form, traversing the landscape of trauma and survival with a deft musicality of time, family, and slippery memory. At the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality, Foreman makes a song of the body—it’s howl and jubilation—and invites us to confront our interior lives in the listening. Bold in its quest for knowledge and refuge, Salt Body Shimmer articulates a contemporary American experience, aware of the histories unsaid and unfaced, where women can inhabit their lives fully and freely, knowing safety is fragile and must be grabbed by whatever thread we can find.
About Aricka Foreman
Aricka Foreman is a poet, editor and educator from Detroit. Author of Dream with a Glass Chamber and Salt Body Shimmer (YesYes Books 2019), she has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Her poems, essays and features have appeared in The Offing, Buzzfeed, Vinyl, RHINO, The Blueshift Journal, Day One, shuf Poetry, James Franco Review, THRUSH, Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation (Viking Penguin), among others. She lives in Chicago.
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Praise for Salt Body Shimmer
Salt Body Shimmer delivers girls and women with their hearts and strides unbroken, however provoked by deadening violences. Aricka Foreman’s deft lyric is both canopy and camouflage, beyond able to outwork predators and the hard silences they will against laughter, booty clap, and no. Aricka Foreman’s debut collection declares its right to everyplace, finds its heroes, and offers “a spell for everything.” I’ve not read or heard poems like these. “Out of a grave vision,” Foreman condenses the accumulated pain of subjugations and raises a dazzling mist to cool our eyes, our tired flesh.
—Ladan Osman, Exiles of Eden
The music of Salt Body Shimmer is deep bass and improvisation. Here, both skill and freestyle show how the two coexist intentionally, defiantly, the lyrics and rhythm winding through mental and physical consciousness with reversals that equal each other in power and artistry. What we think we know, what exists and what pretends, a people and a person, a city and a history all shapeshift and multiply as they converse, sometimes in the same line: “while an ancient thing waits, takes a drag / off my breath.” Aricka Foreman’s work haunts us with aliveness — nights, June, glass, flame, lush green, silver pans, wet ground. Even the unsaid personifies an embodied presence of memory. “The sea knows everything / And forgets no one,” she writes, and, “Sun drunk and bruised,” with a soul-deep Detroit voice carrying through on a blues moan, “blues inevitable,” Foreman’s crystalline début catapults the language of love and suffering — that is to say, poetry — toward its most effective and affecting state: transformation.
—Khadijah Queen, I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On
As vital as water is to the human body, Salt Body Shimmer proves just as indispensable. Adorned in the ‘camouflage it takes to be a woman’ Aricka Foreman invites us to wade into an iridescent realm of Blue Magic. Each poem in this book washes up like a seashell—beautiful yet sharp. It is in your best interest, dear reader, to collect such marvels for safekeeping.
—Alison C. Rollins, Library of Small Catastrophes