Sunday, November 18, 2018




Today's NightBallet Press publication of
Throwback Thursdays by Margie Shaheed
is a bittersweet and heartbreaking joy.

The cover photo, a work by the artist Bree, is titled "Longevity 8.7.18" and shows a vibrant sunflower facing both forward and backward. I felt this to be an apt representation of the poetry in Throwback Thursdays.

Before she became ill, Margie and I had talked about the new manuscript she was working on. She was excited about the prospect of having a new book in the new year. When she phoned me in September to tell me she had cancer, she again mentioned her new manuscript. After she died earlier this month, her daughter Aqueelah and I discussed NBP publishing Throwback Thursdays as a posthumous and loving tribute.

photo by the Shaheed family

Today would have been Margie's 60th birthday. Today, this book is published to celebrate and honor her.

Of the fifteen poems in Throwback Thursdays, my personal favorite, and one I think is pure Margie, is "Life Lesson":

Life Lesson

poetry ran through mama's veins like blood
runs out of a slaughtered pigfast and hot
she said life was nothing without the poem
to clarify its existence. i believed her

photo by John Burroughs

Margie Shaheed was a treasured community poet, writer, and performance artist. She was an enthusiastic and dedicated supporter of NightBallet Press. But more than that, she was my friend. I am privileged to have known her, to have heard her read, and to have produced four books for her, including her three previous NBP books of poetry,
Mosaic, Onomatopoeia, and Dream Catcher. I will miss talking with her on the phone. I will miss making books for her.

photo by Chad Parmenteau

NightBallet Press wishes to extend our deepest sympathy to the Shaheed family, and to thank them for allowing us to send Margie Shaheed's poetry, once more, out into the world. NightBallet Press will continue to represent Margie Shaheed, and will continue to make sure her Voice is heard.

Throwback Thursdays is our memorial tribute to this remarkable poet. It is a testimony of Margie's work...her honest, poignant portrayal of an African-American woman's life experiences, memories, and hopes for the future. You may obtain a copy of Margie's final book of poetry by clicking on the PayPal link below.