Named after a magical textbook, Cherene Sherrard’s Grimoire is a poetry collection centered on the recovery and preservation of ancestral knowledge and on the exploration of black motherhood. Incorporating experiences of food preparation, childrearing, and childbearing, the book begins with a section of poems that re-imagine recipes from one of the earliest cookbooks by an African-American woman: Mrs. Malinda Russell’s A Domestic Cookbook. Mrs. Russell’s voice as a nineteenth-century chef is joined in conversation with a contemporary amateur cook in poetic recipes that take the form of soft and formal sonnets, introspective and historical lyric, and found poems. In the second section, the poet explores black maternal death and the harrowing circumstances surrounding birth for women of colour in the United States. Throughout Grimoire, Sherrard explores the precarity of black mothering over the last two centuries and the creative and ingenious modes of human survival.
A reproduction of Gardner's hand-coloured stone lithograph titled Convolvulus jalapa (Yara) graces the cover.
This sensitive book of poetry can be purchased here: Autumn House Press