My Sisters' Country
by Alexis Jackson ’18
Published by Kore Press (2022)
Philadelphia-born, San Diego-based writer Alexis V. Jackson’s completely original debut poetry collection My Sisters’ Country is due out from Kore Press January 31, 2022. Jackson artfully braids together a multi-vocal chorus of Black women’s voices across, over, under, and through time. Included in the vast array of voices are her great-grandmother, Black feminist scholar Hortense Spillers, musical artist Missy Elliott, and the wide-brimmed, white-gloved church ladies of her Philadelphia youth.
Jackson bends and breaks forms like the sonnet, pantoum, and zuihitsu and introduces the playlist poem as she explores the makings of Black girlhood and womanhood. Staying true to the beauties, traumas, moans and undoings found there, the poet invites readers to consider the ways Black women, who were once considered countryless property, made country out of and in one another.
Vast in scope and style, Jackson’s collection is deeply influenced by Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, rapper Lil’ Kim, gospel singers CeCe Winans and the Clark Sisters, actor-singer Jill Scott, as well as her favorite pastor.