Aquarius Press/Willow Books

Between Chance and Mercy

Aquarius Press/Willow Books

Poetry collection by James E Cherry. Coming April 2024. James E Cherry is the author of seven books:  a collection of short fiction, two novels and four volumes of poetry. His prose and poetry have been featured in numerous journals and anthologies both in the U.S. and abroad.  Cherry has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award, a Lillian Smith Book Award and was a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Fiction. He has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Texas at El Paso and is President of The Griot Collective and founder of The Jazz Foundation.

"...The poems in Between Chance and Mercy sew, welt, stagger, search, wrench, and pray to any sunlight in the senses..." —Ed Pavlic

"In Between Chance and Mercy James E. Cherry expresses poetry’s unique power to record, remember, and restore. From the scent of Old Spice to the relentless violence against Black life, Cherry describes the quotidian as generously and skillfully as he elucidates the profound. The poems in this collection remind me that we can’t escape history; that elegy is another word for praise; and that we all live in the delicate conundrum between chance and mercy." —Ama Codjoe, author of Bluest Nude

"The poems in this arresting collection leave me stunned over and over again.  Alongside the day-to-day records of hopeful human experience are poems that respond to historical nightmare and national shame, as well as meditations on relentless present-day racial violence. The "chance" in this title is the wonder that any Black person could survive our national history. The "mercy," I gather, is the poet's strong belief that we're supposed to love one another, and that's the only way any of us will survive. Be sure, there's no preaching here. Only the hard and beautiful truth.  This is an incisive and jarring book, and the verses sing us through." —Maurice Manning, author of Railsplitter

Willow Books