Sunday, October 04, 2015

From the Park Bench Book Release


“Sara, how you doing?”

A complex question. I was sitting in a nice house with no job, two kids, and I’d just received the bad news that my former husband was also unemployed so there would be no more health insurance or child support coming. I’d just sat my stunned self on the sofa when the phone rang. Tony Moore was a partner at the second largest law firm in the world, one of two African American lawyers working there at the time, and he didn’t want to hear all that, so I said, “Fine.”

“We (Jones Day) have been doing some pro bono for CMHA (housing authority) and their new director Claire Freeman needs some PR help. Would you be available?”

It was 1991, I had just started visiting schools with my new self-published poetry books and this was the phone call that would change my life.  You don’t have to be schizophrenic to work all day in the hood and in impoverished schools and come home at night to your hot tub, but it certainly helps. I started hearing voices, lots of them.

From the Park Bench is a book of poems in multiple voices that has been 25 years in the writing. I don’t have much explanation for myself about that, just that over the years, through conversations with kids, teachers, CMHA residents and co-workers – I took a lot of notes. 

There is never one side to any story, and what I have learned is there are rarely only two sides to a story.

This afternoon I will be signing and introducing From the Park Bench, published by Red Giant Press from 4-6PM at Guide to Kulcher Bookstore, 5900 Detroit, Cleveland, OH. Joining me will be Michael Salinger who will be signing the paperback release of his book for teens, Well Defined, Vocabulary in Rhyme (also Red Giant).