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Jonestown Lullaby: Poems and Pictures [Paperback]

Teri Buford O'Shea

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Book Description

Sept. 6 2011
At age nineteen, author Teri O'Shea joined Peoples Temple in California led by Jim Jones. A member for seven years, she escaped Peoples Temple three weeks before the massacre in Jonestown, Guyana. The raw and powerful poems in Jonestown Lullaby explore her experience in Jonestown and the aftermath of her survival. A personal confidant to Jim Jones for seven years, O'Shea writes about the harrowing nightmare of Jonestown with an intensity and passion seldom captured in poetic form. Teri was the last person to escape Peoples' Temple before the massacre in Jonestown; now, she turns to writing to help find her way back to a more peaceful life. Jonestown Lullaby records her voyage, with vivid, stark images of the bewildering world that was Jonestown and the pathological madness of Jim Jones. Teri includes photographs of some of the Peoples Temple members who lived and lost their lives there; revealing an aspect of Jonestown rarely seen. This is her tribute to those who died so tragically.
I Write I write from the poor side of silence Of an unholy priesthood that Captured my soul for a time These poems Neither confession nor biography Follow the voyage of a lonely spirit Into a realm where there are no answers

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Iuniverse Inc (Sept. 6 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1462037372
  • ISBN-13: 978-1462037377
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 930 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,842,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering Jonestown in Poetry & Photographs! Oct. 7 2011
By Sylviastel - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There have been a few attempts with poetry with regards to Jonestown but none could compare to Teri Buford O'Shea, a Jonestown survivor. She had escaped or defected three weeks prior to the Jonestown Massacre on November 18,1978.

Since the tragedy in 1978, Teri has written poetry in order to cope with the devastation of the loss and trauma of her past. Her poetry is a vast array of topics from her childhood, her daughter, and Jonestown which is never far from her mind obviously.

Poetry is difficult to write and interpret but Teri's a natural born poet here. She is on par with some of the finest poets in history. She writes from the heart and soul about people who meant so much in her life. Poetry is her chosen art form and it suits her well. There have been others to write about Jonestown in poetic form but none can match her passion or her depth here even with simplicity in writing style.

The second half of the book is the photographs, black and white and haunting. There is another side to Jonestown often overlooked or forgotten by the sensationalism of the tragic events of November 18,1978. As we approach another anniversary (33 years since 918 human lives were lost forever), we should again and analyze Jonestown as a human event. A third of the losses were children under 18 years old even infants.

The photographs also show a human side such as the work done in Jonestown; the babies born in the Jonestown medical center; children; and even a photograph of Jim Jones surrounded by the people of Jonestown. You can't come across from looking at these photographs without feeling their loss.

For those of us who study Jonestown and the Peoples Temple, this book is an essential piece of the puzzle about Jonestown. There are some prose pieces to help explain Jonestown and the Peoples Temple. A few of her friends have written on her behalf about who Teri Buford O'Shea really is.

Teri Buford O'Shea is a survivor and she was one of Jim Jones's right hand at times. In the end, she survived and lived to tell her story and their stories as well. She became a social worker and dedicated to making a better world.

A lot of us would like the opportunity to improve our society and the Peoples Temple was home to many who wanted a better world. It was not just a cult but a community of well-meaning members who went to the jungles of South America in order to create a utopia of their own.

I encourage anybody who is interested in Jonestown and Peoples Temple to read this book and look at the pictures. There were humans who are now lost forever and taken before their time under difficult circumstances. This book is definitely the best poetry compilation of Jonestown so far.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing Sept. 3 2013
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was not what I was looking for. The book was shallow and ended so uprutley that I felt like a huge piece of the story was missing.
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WOW! April 16 2013
By Thom - Published on
It isn't that I find the book so appalling as in who wrote it! I am not going to go into so much detail as it would take to long. How ever you know what your role was is the People's Temple and in Jones Town, as anyone who survived does!
I could have very well been one of those kids who died, in which you are writting your poems to. I am quit shocked you would dare to address them in any manner or would want to draw attention to your self. I believe your "escape" was based on a mission you were sent on as there were previous ones.
Idea for a new book title for you; My involvement and knowledge of Jonestown from the top of the ladder, a story from the inside!
Thanks for the Lullaby! Thom Bogue

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