C. Leigh McInnis is an established writer, publisher and editor of Black Magnolia’s Literary Journal. He currently serves as an instructor of English at Jackson State University. He has so graciously allowed the Jackson Poetry Examiner to publish the following profile on Mr. Charlie Braxton.
Noted poet, playwright, and essayist Charlie R. Braxton has recently published a new collection of poetry, Cinders Rekindled. Cinders Rekindled is the long-awaited second volume of poetry from Mississippi poet Braxton. It has been over ten years since Braxton released his first book, the critically acclaimed Ascension from the Ashes. With Cinders Rekindled, Braxton takes a bold step forward by moving from the bluesy, lyrical style that has long characterized his work only to openly embrace his current poetic style, which is a multi-layered style with inspiration from free jazz, southern soul, reggae, samba, hip hop, funk, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Church, and the African spiritual ethos along with the inspiration of the Black Arts Movement of the 60s and 70s.
Although Braxton’s poetry is deeply rooted in the past, it is in no way nostalgic. He uses the past because he understands that it is as an anchor upon which any real artist’s aesthetic foundation is built in order to express the pain and suffering that humanity faces today. As the eminent literary critic Dr. Jerry Ward writes in his introduction to Cinders Rekindled, “As a poet, Braxton defies the premature comfort that may accompany change; his is the fierce preservation of traditions of the near past, an affirmation that genuine poetry involves tracing of a people’s diverse states of being and thought. Braxton’s work is an affirmation that the prophecy that lends power to the jeremiad burns productively in ‘the suffering soul/of a real black artist.’ Do not ask what is real. Feel what is audacious in the flames of anger as redemption.”
Cinders Rekindled can be ordered at http://www.lulu.com/shop/charlie-r-braxton/cinders-rekindled/paperback/product-20282625.html and amazon.com (available soon), as well as a variety of bookstores. If the book is not in your local bookstore please ask them to stock it. Charlie Braxton is also available for readings and book signings and can be contacted at Charlie.email@example.com or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/charlierbraxton.
By: C. Leigh McInnis