Bless the Ashes

Trade Paper – $16.95

ISBN 978-1-882688-49-4
Publication Date
October 2014
Page Count
120 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Bless the Ashes

Peter Harris

Bless the Ashes is an urban hymn to elemental influences: Peter Harris’s mother and the reverberations of the ethical gifts she gave him during her fifty-seven years on earth; the integrity at the core of cultures crafted under duress by people of African descent; the nourishment of waters, actual and symbolic; powerful music (from the One and 4/4 to symphonic and atonal); as well as the exhilaration of tapping the flow of creativity. These poems are about an adult search for deep humanity and the best of community.

This book crystallizes Harris’s most expansive quest for a creative voice of individuality and inspiration. With Bless the Ashes, he uses words to blend the imaginative, emotional, and intellectual to get beyond words and into a visceral field that should move anyone participating fully into their human journey.

About the Author

Peter J. Harris, founder and artistic director of Inspiration House, is an African American cultural worker who has since the 1970s published his poetry, essays, and fiction in a wide range of national publications. He has worked as a publisher, journalist, editor and broadcaster, and he has been an educator and workshop leader for adults and adolescents. Harris is also founding director of The Black Man of Happiness Project, a creative, intellectual, and artistic exploration of black men and joy. www.

“This new collection illuminates the power and grace of the human heart that never, never gives up. These words have been pulled from the deepest of wells, the one named bona-fide inspiration, the one named old-school hip bone and hug.”—Nikky Finney

“[Peter Harris] is a poet who challenges us. He gives us history as art, confirming that there is little connectedness in poetry without truth, self-giving, and culture. However, there is something grander in his work, not tangential to the circle but in it, a healing substance that demands that we think, smile, and act. This is healthy poetry with a conscience and a smile, revealing rooted introspection and quiet love.”—Haki R. Madhubuti

“Weaving a tapestry of ancestral wisdom, the principled politics of radical happiness ,and the cadence of the musics that succor him, Harris offers poems as ceremony, through which we might rise to live ‘unhinged from tragic theory.’ ”—Terry Wolverton