Happy to report that progress is being made on my book, my 11th book, a collection of New and Selected Poetry, September 2016, Persea (no doubt soon to be on the Persea website:

Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code

(jacket copy from the book: “As if the muse of Wallace Stevens were transplanted into the body of a black-Indian, female pop-culture maven.”—Village Voice

This career-spanning volume by Thylias Moss, “a permanent American poet, canonical in the old, authentic sense” (Harold Bloom), conveys the full extent of her dazzling poetic innovations over the past thirty-five years with substantial selections from each previous collection, as well as over fifty pages of new poems.

A poet whose innovations have influenced generations of writers, Thylias Moss is a sort of taxonomist-preacher, whose profound meditation on American culture underlies and propels the dazzling lyrical and impassioned passages she writes in outraged response. This new volume gathers together substantial selections from her previous books and follows them with more than fifty pages of daring new work. Whether in early poems or more recent output, Moss make no promises of smooth sailing: even when they begin with beloved cultural icons (Robert Frost, Dr. Who, the Statue of Liberty), her poems spiral outward, insisting on new perspectives, truths, and realities―particularly of African American experience. For more than three decades, Moss has been a fearless re-inventor of poetry’s possibilities. Her New & Selected is a momentous publication by “a visionary storyteller, a major figure in contemporary American poetry” (Charles Simic).

Thylias Moss, Professor Emerita of English and Art & Design at the University of Michigan, lives in Ypsilanti.

$29.95 hardcover (CAN. $38.95) |
Territory  World | ISBN 978-0-00000-000-0
September 2016




I added “Indian” in the quote from Village Voice because I do not want to omit my father.  Such an important man to me and source of the name “Thylias”.  He didn’t name me immediately but had to wait until he met me to be sure that he was giving my the correct name, and then he created “Thylias” because he told me that “since there had never been a presence like mine in the world, I needed  a name that also hadn’t been in the world”‘


Calvin-tight crop 1950 copy

my father (died the year before I graduated first in the class from Oberlin College)


Frizzell Brasier copy

my paternal grandfather (I never met him alive; sure wish I had)


available for pre-order now on Amazon

Possible author photos (by Ansted Moss, photographer and filmmaker):

Red Dress Code-01Red Dress Code-03Red Dress Code-02

(I still don’t know for sure which image will be used on this book)

I am increasingly excited about this book, and really look forward to having the galleys, those indications that publication is not far off.  September! –have to have summer first, and whatever summer promises!

 Another highlight was my interview for National Poetry Month in the “Huffington Post” by Jonathan Hobratsch

And I must repeat how wonderful it was to have my video, “The Glory Prelude to a Widow Shrine System” in the Ellipsis exhibition at the Pulitzer Fine Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington Boulevard,  St. Louis, Missouri, 63108  314.754.1850  I had the pleasure of seeing Treasure Redmond at the opening of this event, and my video shared company with videos poems by John Bresland: “Mangos”, and John Lucas and Claudia Rankine, “Whiteness, INC.”  –What an honor for my work to share space with their work.   You have until 2 July to see this exhibit, and I also must add how wonderful to have my work represented with work by my favorite artist, Felix Gonzalez-Torres (“’Untitled’ (Placebo-Landscape-for Roni),” 1993) –also interactive as visitors are to take a piece of the candy that forms this installation.

Images from the poetry reading in the Pulitzer courtyard, just outside the  Ellipsis exhibit I read the poem “Higginson Matters in Magnificent Culture of Myopia” (grapes correspond to  lines in the poem , that actually refer to peaches, two peaches on the speaker’s body, and when the reader says:”when he finally lifts it electrified to his mouth,” all lift a “peach”
(in the poem, but peaches were not in season in St. Louis on 15 April, as they were when the poem was read in Detroit, MI at N’Namdi’s, so everyone lifted a grape to their mouths; for the interactive part of the reading, I lifted and bit a grape also, of course, and turns out that “grapes” were even better… more about the appropriateness of grapes when the book is actually published and when “Higginson Matters” appears this summer in “The Fiddlehead):

Art meant to be touched and consumed. 

My thanks to all at the Pulitzer who helped realize this essential part of the poem; not the same at all, loses too much meaning if this indulgence is omitted…

grapes from the pulitzerelipsis-251elipsis-260elipsis-250elipsis-248elipsis-208elipsis-216elipsis-208

 In this last photo, I am reunited with Rafia Zafar, a professor at Washington University who had been a colleague at the University of Michigan; what a pleasure it was to have this reunion, and I’m so glad she was able to attend.  Also in the photo, Aaron Coleman, former student of Rafia Zafar, who was able to inform her of my reading and the exhibit when he picked me up at the airport, and Treasure Redmond, poet, with her father — pleasure to meet both of them!

A few video stills of “The Glory Prelude to a Widow Shrine System” by Thylias Moss:


THE GLORY PRELUDE (to a widow shrine system)enlarged-Hi_RES_11-2THE GLORY PRELUDE (to a widow shrine system)enlarged-Hi_RES_13-1THE GLORY PRELUDE (to a widow shrine system)enlarged-Hi_RES_15-1STILL FROM MY VIDEO POAM: “THE GLORY PRELUDE TO A WIDOW SHRINE SYSTEM”


STILL FROM MY VIDEO POAM: “THE GLORY PRELUDE TO A WIDOW SHRINE SYSTEM” Thylias, age five with her mother and as part of Ankor Wat, with my hair growing wildly, and part of what is natural, unstoppable growth

Piano Hair, video stilll from "The Glory Prelude"

“Toy Piano” on which “Piano Hair was both composed and performed.

THE GLORY PRELUDE (to a widow shrine system)enlarged-Hi_RES_01-3


Music for “The Glory Prelude“, still on exhibit through 2 July 2016, was composed and performed by Ansted Moss (as Strexx Motion Lab on YouTube), with Thylias Moss, who captured all the footage, including my mother who still hasn’t grasped that she is in this video; she would never have consented had she known, and that really is such a shame, as the video is flattering to her and other women.  

A print version of “The Glory Prelude to a Widow Shrine System” (also to be in “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery  of Realities’ Red Dress Code“) may be experienced here, as it appeared in “The Offing”:

The Glory Prelude


Other news that I hope is exciting, it is to me, is completion of a draft of my romance novel, only completion of a draft, not acceptance for publication,  but that is coming soon! –I feel it, a book so special for many, many reasons, and I will persist until I have it right, which I may have right, now… I will hear something sooner or later.  

Yes, a romance novel about love and intimacy, the kind I dream about, and hope for every day… 376 pages; 76,086 words –I am pleased with just having written so much,  but I hope I’ve achieved quality also.  


Looking ahead,  I can say that the author photo for this romance novel will be taken by Tony Smith


I, for one,  look forward to this. 


As soon as I can, I will say more, but please join me in a most fabulous and, well, erotic dream system…

Thank you very much for reading this, and lets keep in touch!

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