An anthology like this has been a long time coming. For the last fifteen years, every place we come together, whether it was The World Stage, or someone s party, a birthday gathering, a child s naming ceremony, a funeral or a home-going, whether it was a cement corner or Fifth Street Dicks (Richard Fulton s place) backed up by a jazz band, we have always brought words. We all knew [this anthology] needed to happen, but we were busy living and loving, making babies and building careers. And, of course, we were writing. Yet, we knew a renaissance was happening in Los Angeles, akin to the Harlem Renaissance. But we were caught up in it, shaking, grinding our pencils down, downing endless cups of coffee at a table outside Fifth Street, trying to find the words to say it precisely the way our heart was beating the sounds out. Blurbs: "There are convergences - spatial, political, cultural and artistic - that define a people's spirit and leave an indelible mark on the world's psyche. To say that this anthology is important or a landmark moment is to state the obvious. The work in this anthology weaves a tight rope around power and proves that the particular is the universal, the historical is the eternal and the ancestral soul is the dance of art. With the delicacy of an old school album, the music here is all flame and these poets are all fire people. Surrender to the sweet burn." - Chris Abani, author of The Virgin of Flames and GraceLand. "These Shaman Poets continue to renew and resurrect the power of verse, the sacredness of truth, and the eternal dance of words on pages and stages, as poets do everywhere, in righting and re-writing the world. If there were ever a time for such courageous word weavers, it's now." - Luis J. Rodriguez, acclaimed poet and founder/editor of Tia Chucha Press. About the Editor: Shonda Buchanan, poet and journalist, is a fellow of the Sundance Institute, PEN Center USA West Emerging Voices and the California Community Foundation. An assistant professor of English at Hampton University, Shonda is currently editing a novel, a memoir, a collection of poetry and a novella. "