Slave Moth
Thylias Moss

Named by Black Issues as the best poetry book of 2004

This critically acclaimed verse-novel follows the unforgettable Varl, a slave on a plantation in Tennessee, on her path to freedom. Wise beyond her years and wildly creative, Varl must choose between the only life she's known and her growing need for self determination. Standing in her path, waiting to quash her spirit, is her master, the cunning Peter Perry, "a collector of rare things," who aims to add Varl herself to his perverse assortment of oddities.

With Slave Moth, Thylias Moss shows herself yet again to be "a visionary storyteller" (Charles Simic). Written in gorgeous verse, it is an explosion of life in the face of servitude. 

“Through the course of this emotionally arresting poetry sequence... it's that young woman's complexity and confusion that make Slave Moth one of the most profoundly startling and beautifully rendered of the neo-slave narratives.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“As complex emotions come to a boil in this piquantly beautiful, covertly witty, and suspenseful verse drama (a truly remarkable mesh of story and form), Moss brilliantly assesses the warped psychology and poisonous relationships engendered by slavery.”

Thylias Moss is Professor Emerita in the departments of English and Art & Design at the University of Michigan. Her other books of poetry include Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, Tokyo Butter, Rainbow Remnants in the Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky, and Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities' Red Dress Code.

Paperback / $14.00 (Can $18.50) / ISBN 978-0-89255-318-1 / 152 pages / Poetry

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