T.J. Anderson III

T.J.Anderson, IIIBorn in Guthrie, Oklahoma, T.J. Anderson III has published poems in Callaloo, Black Renaissance Noire, Sarasota Review of Poetry, Sulfur, lift and Indiana Review. A former Fulbright Scholar at Cairo University, he is the author of Notes to Make the Sound Come Right: Four Innovators of Jazz Poetry (University of Arkansas Press), the highly acclaimed spoken-word CD, Blood Octave (Flat Five Recordings), and the chapbook At Last Round Up (lift books). Anderson currently lives with his family in Roanoke, Virginia, and teaches at Hollins University.

Books by T.J. Anderson III for the Backwaters Press

River to Cross River to Cross by T.J. Anderson III

Author: T.J. Anderson III
Format: Paperback, 114 pages
ISBN: 9781935218050
Published: August 2009

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Critical Praise for River to Cross

Fueled with ecstatic rage and syncopated with jazzed-up pistons and B-bop timing belts, T. J. Anderson’s River to Cross is a long ride and deep plunge into the American subconscious. Lyrical, linguistically inventive, and deadly serious, Anderson wields surrealism to create surprising metaphors and revelatory dream symbols for our age, for the struggles our spirits and bodies engage. Attuned to “you who are off” and taking the pulse of “that red bud that brews/the blood in bloom,” River to Cross is a momentous achievement worthy of our attention and celebration.
Khaled Mattawa

With a keen sense of Nommo—the power of the word—Anderson is commander-in-chief on this odyssey through landscapes that lie behind the whites of our eyes and the skin of our teeth, with imagery frothing with life, sometimes scary, always seductive. How about “Blood Octave,” yeah, oh yes—and what about “A Sonic Language”—and what about, and what about—that’s how it goes: inspiration all the way: soulful, bodyful, spiritful, Black-ful, beauty-ful—it’s more than black-and-white-on-paper.
Brenda Dixon Gottschild

River To Cross by T.J. Anderson III is an interesting mix of poems filled with blood octaves, flaming pomegranate trees, visitations and dedications to jazz musicians such as Eric Dolphy and Coleman Hawkins. This is a wonderful volume of poetry, vibrant and insightful to the last riff.
Jayne Cortez

Poem’s from T.J. Anderson III’s River to Cross

See You at the Top

Those less talented than you
people misquoting and mosquitoing the silver
meaning simply money is honey honey
our chalices are brimming
how much will it ask of you
how much are you willing to give

Just tell them
you are a butterfly without a preceding adjective
a flower severed by the sun’s stroke stem
a beautifully coded question hidden in the dot of no answer

A salesman inside a salesman
sails the car sets the cell oh
gentlemen what am I offered
for a crankcase with no mileage

His success was due
It developed and hardened into manhood
One can do this permanently

you will learn to write these words
on the night owl flight to Dallas

sinker  coverlet  stitch  shuttlecock

My point is the point that points to this:

When we were little obstacles
any kind of opportunity for greatness
came cascading in bell jars with frog spawn brimmed

You will never start a fire if you bring black birds
you will never start a fife if you bring back bums
you will never start a souped chicken if you bruise broncos
you will never start an insurrection if you don’t comment on the tree’s condition

Years ago while speaking in Detroit
a million dollar wheel responded
Gentlemen, such sheer music this world has never seen

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