"Antoinette Brim-Bell from West Haven is Connecticut’s 8th State Poet Laureate."
- Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development
These Women You Gave Me
Antoinette Brim’s These Women You Gave Me brings front and center Biblical mythology and legend to prove a truth that can only be proven through poetry. Brim’s poems sing of the ability women have always had to love and thrive in spite of the most oppressive odds, or as Brim herself would say, “His heavy breath filled her ears. She awakened beneath.” This is really gorgeous work.
In These Women You Gave Me, Antoinette Brim weaves her persona poems of Lilith, Eden and Eve into a collection that is intimate and powerful. Her sensual, precise poems take root and resonate with the feminine in each of us. “Amidst the waters of the firmament:/ male and female float; as only indigo shadows/stitched to the depths with light can do….”Antoinette Brim’s poetry is evocative, risky and true.
In These Women You Gave Me, Antoinette Brim employs a meticulous, lyric sensibility to remind readers of the first women of the Bible and the roles women in the Judeo-Christian tradition have occupied since. This is a bold symphony to Lilith, the first woman, who “has read the Book and found her name erased.” Eve, the second wife, submits; Lilith owns her name, her reflection, her body, and soul. Brim counters the erasure with a brilliant light and language that empowers all women, that gives cause for each reader to consider that the story is often not fully told.
Antoinette Brim-Bell (Antoinette Brim), Connecticut’s 8th State Poet Laureate, is the author of three full-length poetry collections: These Women You Gave Me, Icarus in Love, and Psalm of the Sunflower. She is a Cave Canem Foundation Fellow and an alumna of Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA). Her poetry has appeared in various journals, magazines, textbooks, and anthologies, including Villanelles, 44 on 44: Forty-Four African American Writers on the 44th President of the United States, Not A Muse, and has appeared in Poetry Magazine and Poem-a-Day. Additionally, Brim-Bell has published critical work, most notably, essays: “Living Behind the Numbers: A Statistic Muses about her Life” (National Association of African American Studies Monograph Series); “The Myopic Eye in Alice Walker’s ‘Flowers’” (Critical Insights: Alice Walker, Salem Press) and “Juxtaposed Dichotomies: the idealized white suburban pastoral, the surrealist tableau of black poverty & the women in between” (The Whiskey of Our Discontent: Gwendolyn Brooks as Conscience and Change Agent, Haymarket Books).
A printmaker and collage artist, Brim-Bell exhibited both poetry and monoprints in Jazz: An exhibition of Poetry, Prints, and Photography at the Sumner McKnight Crosby Jr. Gallery in New Haven, CT, and Sheroes, in partnership with the Alliance of Women Veterans at the Grove in New Haven, CT. She serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of Indolent Arts Foundation based in New York City, is a past Board Member of OneWorld Progressive Institute, and a past President of the Board of Directors of the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, CT.
Additionally, Brim-Bell hosted a series of Black History Month television programs for the OneWorld Progressive Institute. She is also a former guest host of Patrick Oliver’s Literary Nation Talk Radio (KABF 88.3, Little Rock), for which she interviewed a variety of entertainers, literary figures, political pundits, and community developers. A sought-after speaker, editor, educator, and consultant, Brim-Bell is a Professor of English at Capital Community College in Hartford, CT.
"... a fierce poet at the peak of her powers..."
- Patricia Smith, author of the award-winning books Blood Dazzler and Teahouse of the Almighty
Sign Up for News, Events & Much More!