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I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery Hardcover – Oct 25 2011


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Review

"Booklist" "Each of [Grady's] free-verse poems about the African slave experience consists of 10 lines of 10 syllables that, as laid out on the page, mimic the square shape of a quilt block. They also include three references to spirituality, music, and fabric arts that reflect the three layers of a quilt. . . . Wood's intricate illustrations reflect folk art motifs and vibrantly express the rich culture of African American slaves." "Kirkus Reviews" (starred review) "A powerful grouping of thought-provoking poems and brilliantly designed paintings." "School Library Journal" (starred review) "This ambitious work offers a bit of poetry, history, folk art, quilting, religion and more. It will definitely fill a niche in libraries." "The Horn Book" "A stunning achievement for both author and artist." "Publishers Weekly" "Newcomer Grady's compact poems about the lives of slaves cover an emotional range from gossamer ("Like the wren's/ song, she hits the grace note just so") to leaden ("drag my heart clean/ out of my chest"). . . . The notes anticipate classroom use, where discussion will arise from the varied aspects of slavery companionship between the master's children and slave children, early horse racing's domination by slave labor, and more that Grady covers in this well-researched collection." "Christian Library Journal" "Grady does an excellent job of sensitively portraying the harsh realities of slave life through the heartbreaking beauty of poetry that is simple on the surface but complex and purposeful in structure, content, and theme. . . . This compilation of poetry is moving and rich in substance.""

About the Author

Cynthia Grady is a poet and a librarian at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C."I Lay My Stiches Down"is her first published book. In her spare time, Cynthia quilts. Visit her website atwww.cynthiagrady.com. Michele Wood is a painter, illustrator, designer, and writer. She received the American Book Award for her first book, "Going Back Home, "and the Coretta Scott King Award for the illustration in her book"I See the Rhythm."Michele lives in Georgia. Visit her website atwww.michelewood.com."


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Amazon.com: 7 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children Jan. 8 2012
By Yana V. Rodgers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Fourteen poems convey a kaleidoscope of emotions and situations experienced by enslaved people in the United States before the Civil War. Intense pain, grief, hope, and faith accompanied the forced labor, family separations, spiritual celebrations, and dreams of freedom that so many lived through. Each poem captures these ideas with a quilt block structure of ten lines of ten syllables of unrhymed verse. To add another dimension to the quilt structure, each poem has a reference to three themes: spirituality, music, and fiber arts. Enriching the artistic merit of this book are gorgeous bold paintings that further engage the reader with the historical narrative. The book provides educators and parents with an alternative art form for teaching young learners about slavery, racial inequality, and social justice.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Touching Quilt Artwork - powerful poems April 20 2012
By KQuilter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It's too limiting to say this is a children's picture book. Michele Wood is outdone herself with each illustration that accompanies Cynthia Grady's poems and time period explanation. This book makes an outstanding adult gift for quilters given Wood's powerful and memorable artwork. She captures the spirit of quilting and its rhythm and of the late John Biggers. I especially enjoy the cover piece (Basket) of the quilter stitching a patchwork square as well as the matron quilting that goes with the Cotton Boll poem. Well done!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A beautiful work... Jan. 17 2012
By remembertobreathe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
...in so many ways. Wood's paintings are lovely and lively companions to Grady's evocative, lyrical, heartwarming and heart-rending poems. The supplemental material is educational without being didactic, the verses inspirational without a trace of the maudlin -- there are no false notes in this gorgeous and moving book.
Great sorrows, small joys, and fabulous poems Dec 15 2013
By LP Salas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful collection of poems told mostly in the voices of individual slaves. Many of the poems feature the heartbreak of losing loved ones to the auction block, being consigned to the fields for dropping dishes, and being whipped. But there are moments of joy, too--the white schoolteacher who notices the slave children outside and teaches loudly, with the windows open so that they can hear; "singing up a frenzy of song!"; following the North Star to freedom. The poems reference spirituality and fabric arts, and a prose note accompanies each poem. This collection makes a really hard topic accessible to fairly young kids. And it's just a fabulous book:>)
Stitches To Not Rip Out Feb. 27 2013
By Lady Dragon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Quilts tell stories. Stories of the time, place, person or persons making the quilt. It is a great way to introduce children and adults to history.


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