Stunning, highly original poems that celebrate the richness of the author's multicultural tradition, Teeth explores loves, wars, wild hope, defiance, and the spirit of creativity in a daring use of language and syntax. Behind this language one senses a powerful, inventive woman who is not afraid to tackle any subject, including rape, genocide, and love, always sustained by an optimistic voice, assuring us that in the end justice will triumph and love will persevere.
you be the reason why
we swagger & jive,
lift the guitar, & pick up the axe.
when it is i tilt my hat to the side,
wearing colors & perfumes, it's cause, love,
you did it to me. oh,
you do sure turn my tongue to fiddle,
& make the salt taste sweet. man,
i don't need a rooster, or peacock even,
to help me spend my time, nope,
just you, love, right & solid as
"In Teeth, the poems of Aracelis Girmay ring out with a burning truth as she transports the reader into the world of despair, discrimination, sorrows, triumphs, joy and the courage it takes to flourish as a woman of color. Her keen observations are put forth with an appetite for life without fear or self-consciousness as she weaves her words into a range of potent poems." —Nicholasa Mohr
"The poetry of Aracelis Girmay is so strong, so brave, so lyrical, so fiery, so joyful, that the usual literary superlatives fail. I think of Sandra Cisneros and her words of praise for another writer, Denise Chávez: 'I love this book so much it sounds like I'm lying. Exactly." —Martín Espada
"Teeth is a fantastic book of poetry. It is a cry for peace and understanding. It is a window." —Claire Hersom, Rattle