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Arts & Culture

An Ode To Black Women In Bondage

The number of incarcerated women increased by more than 700 percent between 1980 and 2016, according to data from The Sentencing Project. Poet DaMaris Hill cites this statistic at the beginning of her new book, “A Bound Woman Is A Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland” (Bloomsbury Publishing/2019). 

The book is comprised of poems about black women in bondage, from literal incarceration to the bonds of slavery to the limits of oppression. Hill includes a range of women, from historical figures like Ida B. Wells and Harriet Tubman, to more contemporary women like Sandra Bland and Gynnya McMillen.

The author talks to host Frank Stasio about her poetic process and why she chose to include autobiographical poems in the book. Hill is an assistant professor of creative writing and African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. She will be at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill on Thursday, Feb. 7.

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