She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks
“Over the edge of writing that lays claim to the adjectives conceptual and experimental, M. NourbeSe Philip lights the way back into the very ground, the very terror of the concept and the experiment. Tried and errant, reordering with every expense of air every expanse of earth and sea, breaking silence in silence’s elemental break, like Hölderlin, Philip’s tragic transport—as a curate of the impure word, the degeneration and regeneration of grammar, their rupture and their fullness—bears the black history of romance. No sojourn in contemporary poetry is more necessary or more beautiful than hers.”
—Fred Moten, author of The Feel Trio
“She Tries Her Tongue richly touches upon the difficult intertwining of race, gender, sexuality, history, and language. No other work brings these concerns so centrally to readers.”
—Samantha Pinto, author of Difficult Diasporas: The Transnational Feminist Aesthetic of the Black Atlantic
Brilliant, lyrical, and passionate, She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks—from acclaimed poet M. NourbeSe Philip—is an extended jazz riff running along the themes of language, racism, colonialism, and exile. In this innovative collection, Philip defiantly challenges and resoundingly overthrows the silencing of black women through appropriation of language, offering no less than superb poetry resonant with beauty and strength.
She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks was originally published in Cuba after the manuscript was selected for the 1988 Casa de Las Americas Prize. It was published in 1993 in both Canada (Ragweed Press) and the UK (The Women’s Press). This new U.S. edition, from Wesleyan, has a foreword by Evie Shockley.
M. NourbeSe Philip is a poet, essayist, novelist, and playwright who was born in Tobago, in the twin island state of Trinidad and Tobago, and now lives in Toronto. She is the author of four books of poetry, including Zong!; a novel; and three collections of essays.
She Tries Her Tongue,
Her Silence Softly Breaks
by M. NourbeSe Philip
with a new foreword by Evie Shockley
102 pp. 6 x 9” $15.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-7567-8
$12.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7568-5
Publication Date: October 6, 2015