Mouths of Rain

An Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought
Edited by:

A groundbreaking collection tracing the history of intellectual thought by Black Lesbian writers, in the tradition of The New Press’s perennial seller Words of Fire

“Briona Simone Jones’s anthology Mouths of Rain is an audacious, unapologetic, transgressive collection of Black ‘queer’ writing across genre, time, identity, age, and political leanings. This sister/companion to Words of Fire, published thirty years ago, makes visible—again—our passionate and unwavering commitments to the eradication of all oppressions. It bears witness to the necessity and power of the field of Black Lesbian Studies and is a love offering to us all.”
—Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies at Spelman College and editor of Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought

African American lesbian writers and theorists have made extraordinary contributions to feminist theory, activism, and writing. Mouths of Rain, the companion anthology to Beverly Guy-Sheftall’s classic Words of Fire, traces the long history of intellectual thought produced by Black Lesbian writers, spanning the nineteenth century through the twenty-first century.

Using “Black Lesbian” as a capacious signifier, Mouths of Rain includes writing by Black women who have shared intimate and loving relationships with other women, as well as Black women who see bonding as mutual, Black women who have self-identified as lesbian, Black women who have written about Black Lesbians, and Black women who theorize about and see the word lesbian as a political descriptor that disrupts and critiques capitalism, heterosexism, and heteropatriarchy. Taking its title from a poem by Audre Lorde, Mouths of Rain addresses pervasive issues such as misogynoir and anti-blackness while also attending to love, romance, “coming out,” and the erotic.

Praise

“Briona Simone Jones’s anthology Mouths of Rain is an audacious, unapologetic, transgressive collection of Black ‘queer’ writing across genre, time, identity, age, and political leanings. This sister/companion to Words of Fire, published thirty years ago, makes visible—again—our passionate and unwavering commitments to the eradication of all oppressions. It bears witness to the necessity and power of the field of Black Lesbian Studies and is a love offering to us all.”
—Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies at Spelman College and editor of Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought
“It’s no secret that Black lesbian thought leaders have played a pivotal role as activists in shaping feminist theory. In this powerful anthology, Briona Simone Jones shines a light on the words of many of those trailblazers, including Barbara Smith, Audre Lorde, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, among many notable others.”
—Refinery29
“Wide-ranging, celebratory. . . . Jones’s inspiring and prodigious anthology is striking.”
Publishers Weekly
“In Mouths of Rain, Dr. Briona Simone Jones masterfully curates an anthology of Black women loving Black women. . . . This collection is a balm that shows readers that Black feminism benefits us all.”
Elle
“It’s time people listen to Black lesbians and utilize that knowledge into action to improve lives. This book is a gateway into that action. An essential component to any social science shelf, this is transformative, vital reading.”
Library Journal (starred review)
“This outstanding collection honors the legacy and contributions made by Black lesbian writers throughout the last two centuries.”
Ms. magazine
“Told through a collection of essays by Black women including Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Jewel Gomez and Beverly Smith, Mouths of Rain explores the long history of intellectual thought and stories by Black lesbian writers spanning from the nineteenth century through the twenty-first century.”
The Root

Goodreads Reviews