Amber Flora Thomas is the author of two collections of poems: Eye of Water, selected by Harryette Mullen as the winner of the 2004 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and The Rabbits Could Sing, selected by Peggy Shumaker for the Alaska Literary Series in 2011. A recipient of the Dylan Thomas American Poet Prize, Richard Peterson Prize, and Ann Stanford Prize, her poetry has appeared in Callaloo, Orion Magazine, Alaska Quarterly Review, Saranac Review, and Crab Orchard Review, as well as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry and numerous other journals and anthologies. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and faculty member. She received her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 1998. She was born and raised in northern California.
Red Channel in the Rupture is a gathering place for the troubling abuses of the past. Looking through the lens of the present moment, Thomas shows us the open palm necessary to embrace change, as she finds beauty in bodies gnashed, trapped, and crushed into change. Images and experiences bleed together as we confront with the poet the animal of loss and death. Moving through the aperture of landscapes and moments that have defined this poet, we discover the rupturing territory of time and change. We recover absolution for what has tried to kill our very souls. Here is the endless rope thrown out to all of us in our shame and fear; we would be wise to snatch this coil from the air.
“Amber Flora Thomas has an eye for the pathos and brutality of living things and landscapes, but she renders this brutality with startling tenderness. In Red Channel in the Rupture, her voice is fresh, fierce and wildly alive.”—Camille T. Dungy, author of Trophic Cascade
“Amber Flora Thomas crafts poems of essential light via photography, via the natural world. One poem asserts, I was low with ruptures I’d lived through, / regions of tear and ache. Ruptures sexual violence, the jagged contusions of seismic grief, the obliteration of half of herself by passing. This poet knows gnawing and hunger, knows that a current / must take the shore with it eventually. Before it does, we have her poems, wild as mountain lions, hot as Santa Ana winds, delicious as ripe blackberries wicked in fine gold hairs. Vibrant and sensual, these poems nourish us.”—Peggy Shumaker, author of Cairn