Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie’s STRUT is a hymn, a praise song, to the ancestors, to those writers and revolutionaries who went before—Amiri Baraka, Lucille Clifton, Gwendolyn Brooks. These are sensual, life-affirming poems that celebrate the body as our connection to all that shapes us. These imagistic, musical poems will force you to sing along. -Maria Mazziotti Gillan, winner of the American Book Award

Ekere Tallie’s Strut is a reclamation project, a blues mission with a clear antecedent. When Tallie’s poetry “struts,” she awakens us to the borders, the pressures of survival, and the use of song to combat what oppressive forces conspire to trip us in mid-step and negate our beauty. This is the voice between the cracks, the urban belly song that makes room for our heartbreak and happiness.  Tallie is the queen of the haiku blues.  You better put your ear to the street, so you can hear this strut. -Willie Perdomo, The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon
Reading Mariahdessa Ekere Tallie’s poems is like sitting at the feet of a conjure woman plying the secrets of her craft.  This book is a middle passage, a way of saying If you wanna know, you gotta go through it.  Through handclap and holler, these are ‘omanish’ poems, poems that look into the dark, see all the way to the other side.  They sport red at funerals, poke fun at the idea that the dead leave us.  In the ‘by and by’ of these poems, we come to memorize the algebraic formula of Strut, finally understand why. -Herman Beavers, Professor of English and Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania

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“Generous in sharing her experiences and fears, she maps the locales, relationships, books, music, and spiritual touchstones of her coming to writing. Here, the developing poet will find the kind of encouragement and guidance one looks  for from a mentor.”  -Sharan Strange, Author of Ash, Creative Writing Faculty, Spelman College

“Ekere calls on the  spirits of her poetic forebears: Langston Hughes, Amiri Baraka, Lucille Clifton and Sonia   Sanchez, to join in as one communal voice championing the heroism and self-expression.”  -Dr. Jeffery D. Mack, Associate Professor of English, Albany State University

“Tallie’s knowledge, experience and deep insight caused me to wish that  as a young, ’60s poet, I’d had the good fortune to receive such a spiritual and literary gift.   Yes, our elders spoke to us, but few, if any, wrote to our generation with such compassionate understanding.” -Askia M. Touré, Poet, Activist, Djali, Co-founder of the Black Arts Movement  

“Ekere’s inspired and compassionate words illuminate a  grounded path of courage and self-care, offering each reader wise counsel to sustain them for the long haul.” -Camisha Jones, Poet, Split This Rock Managing Director

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“Karma’s Footsteps is as fierce with fight songs as it is with love songs. Searing with truths from the modern day world she is unafraid of the twelve foot waves that such honesties always manifest. A poet who “refuses to tiptoe” she enters and exits the page sometimes with short concise imagery, sometimes in the arms of delicate memoir. Her words pull the forgotten among us back into the lightning of our eyes.” -Nikky Finney, author of Head Off & Split, 2011 National Book Award    

“Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie has fallen from the clouds with a book full of lyrical revelations for the women who are never seen or heard. Like Nikke Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez and Ntozake Shange, Tallie can bring you a flower, or can shoot a bullet depending on her environment. She provides us with the tools to scream out, send wake-up calls, and cast spells (for or on) our souls.” -Willie Perdomo, author of Where a Nickel Costs a Dime