The Limitless Heart: New and Selected Poems (1997-2022)

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Haymarket Books
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About the Author

Cheryl Boyce-Taylor is the author of five previous collections of poetry--We Are Not Wearing Helmets, Raw Air, Night When Moon Follows, Convincing the Body, and Arrival--and a memoir and poetic tribute to her son, Mama Phife Represents. A VONA fellow and a teaching artist, Boyce-Taylor is the founder and curator of Calypso Muse and the Glitter Pomegranate Performance Series, and she has led numerous poetry workshops for Cave Canem, the New York Public Library, Urban Word NYC, and Poets House, among others. She lives in Brooklyn.


"I am eternally hopeful that more people in the world come to terms with understanding that for anyone to share an experience of grief is a true generosity. With Mama Phife Represents, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor allows a reader to bask in the generosity. The sharing of loss and grief is the building of a bridge that others who have experienced that specific loss can cross. This is a book about losing a child, yes. But beyond that, it is a book of tactile emotions, and a singularly musical writing, which Boyce-Taylor has always done so well. Above all, Mama Phife Represents shows anyone who has lost someone how to make the most of memory, and the most of their own survival." --Hanif Abdurraqib, author of Go Ahead In The Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest

"The five poems from Mama Phife Represents excerpted here find Boyce-Taylor grappling with Phife's death in terms that are often achingly descriptive and abstract, but also brutally honest and stark. "When Her Child Dies" and "Stone" offer a glimpse into the former category, while "When a House Lives Alone" captures the devastatingly banal task of packing up what Phife left behind. "Bali-Ethiopian Kitchen" finds Boyce-Taylor moving from fond memories to the frantic phone calls that followed her son's death." --Rolling Stone, February 10, 2021