Praise for Cracked Calabash

Award winning authors weigh in on Cracked Calabash

“In these lush poems, Lisa Pegram presents a world in which one may pursue le bon vie without eschewing one’s own cultural or political conscience. Cracked Calabash navigates the rough terrain between memory and foresight, between lyric and narrative, and at each point calls to mind the compression and wisdom of such giants as Lucille Clifton and Gwendolyn Brooks. Like the sho ‘nuff chef, the kitchen magician that she be, Lisa Pegram is serving up some serious flavor.”
John Murillo, Author of Up Jump the Boogie

“Deliciously rich in sensuous detail that often slides into metaphor, Cracked Calabash keeps surprising, poem after poem. Using a variety of poetic strategies, Lisa Pegram confronts issues of gender and race, celebrating both women and brownness (“I’m brown, like the husk of a coconut / or a well seasoned calabash).” This filled-to-the-brim little book will delight your palate, even as it offers unforgettable bite. “Martha Collins, Author of Admit One: An American Scrapbook

“I first met Lisa in 2013 when Teresa Cader suggested her for an AWP panel I was moderating, “From Creative Reading to Creative Writing.” Lisa’s job was to discuss how her reading of work from Cader’s seminar on postwar Polish poetry, “Poets under Fire,” helped her develop a way to write about the traumas of American racial and sexual violence. Her presentation, which included a reading of one of the poems written under the influence of Milosz and Szymborska, brought the audience to its feet.”-Joyce Peseroff,  author of Know Thyself (excerpt from her full blog post about Cracked Calabash)


“She pours steeped roots & 3 peppercorns into your cup. It is hot and cracked, but mended. She whistles across it 3 times before handing it to you with a raised eyebrow. A chipped plate of toast & marmalade.” (photo by Don Newton)