Tag Archives: African American

A Look Inside “Appalachian Elegy”

To promote this week’s giveaway, we’re featuring poems from Appalachian Elegy by author, activist, and educator bell hooks. One of our favorites speaks of freeing oneself and enjoying life in the Kentucky hills:


bring Buddha
to rest home
in Kentucky hills
that outside each window
a light may shine
not a guilt teaching tradition
be balanced
know loving kindness
end suffering
rejoice in the oneness of life
then let go
carry nothing on your back
travel empty
as you climb steep mountain paths

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway by 1 pm tomorrow (Friday, February 8) for a chance to win Appalachian Elegy!

Don’t miss this week’s giveaway!

Appalachian ElegyWe are still going strong with this week’s book giveaway, featuring bell hooks’s Appalachian Elegy. Known for her strong activism on issues such as gender equality, Appalachian culture, and African American heritage, this collection perfectly showcases the influential writer’s views in a compilation of beautiful, emotional poems. Of the 66 poems, we love so many. One of our favorites is number four, an eloquently written piece describing the earth, the transformation of land by humans, and how the earth returns back to its natural state, ready for new beginnings.


earth works
thick brown mud
clinging pulling
a body down
hear wounded earth cry
bequeath to me
the hoe the hope
ancestral rights
to turn the ground over
to shovel and sift
until history
rewritten resurrected
returns to its rightful owners
a past to claim
yet another stone lifted to
throw against the enemy
making way for new endings
random seeds
spreading over the hillside
wild roses
come by fierce wind and hard rain
unleashed furies
here in this untouched wood
a dirge a lamentation
for earth to live again
earth that is all at once a grave
a resting place a bed of new beginnings
avalanche of splendor

If you’re interested in her other beautiful poems, don’t forget to enter the giveaway by Friday, February 8th, at 1 pm! 

An Inspired Giveaway: Appalachian Elegy by bell hooks

bell hooksThis week, we’re giving away a copy of Appalachian Elegy by bell hooks. Respond by Friday, February 8 at 1:00 pm for your chance to win!

Author, activist, feminist, teacher, and artist bell hooks is celebrated as one of the nation’s leading intellectuals. Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, hooks drew her unique pseudonym from the name of her grandmother, an intelligent and strong-willed African American woman who inspired her to stand up against a dominating Appalachian Elegyand repressive society.

Gloria Steinem has said of Appalachian Elegy: “Readers who know and love bell hooks will discover the source of her strength. New readers will find a unique voice and the universal strength of our natural world. All of us will find the wild within ourselves.”

This week, we’re featuring this notable book on our blog and will give away a copy to a lucky winner. To enter our giveaway, fill in the required fields below with your name and contact information. We will randomly select one winner on Friday, February 8 at 1:00 pm.

Good luck, and spread the word!

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Free Book of the Month: July

Summer is finally here and its the perfect time to catch up on all the books you’ve been meaning to read. If your bookshelf is looking a little bare (or even if it isn’t) its time to stock up again with July’s Free Book of the Month from UPK. This month we’re bringing you the gorgeous photographs of John Francis Ficara with an essay by Juan Williams in Black Farmers in America.

Black Farmers in America reproduces in duotone over a hundred of Ficara’s exquisite photographs that capture the labor and joy of daily life on the family farm. In these poignant images of financial hardship, survival, and the people’s bond to the soil, Ficara documents for posterity the struggle of black farmers in America at the end of the twentieth century to preserve their heritage.

“Just as John Ficara captures poignant images of Black farmers, Juan Williams . . . complements these stunning images with enlightened, descriptive, and thoughtful narrative.”–(Lexington, KY) Key Newsjournal

“Elegaic. . . . Makes it clear that something is being lost, that some tether to our agrarian roots will soon be severed.”– Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sign Up HERE for your FREE BOOK

Please limit one per customer, while supplies last, offer expires August 1, 2011open to U.S. residents only