Just want to make it known that I am aware of what my “friend”, acting as both my publisher and my agent,  wrote into –and I signed, fool that I am, but no more as this is the official day that I wake up, the contract I signed, little fool, for my 11th book,

“Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code”

Option #20:


20. In consideration of the covenants of this Agreement, the Proprietor agrees to give the Publisher the first opportunity to obtain book-publishing rights in his next book-length work.  The Proprietor shall submit the manuscript of such work to the Publisher before showing it to any other publisher, and the Publisher shall thereafter have thirty [30] days to notify the Proprietor if it wishes to publish such work, and if so, to propose terms and conditions (provided that the Publisher shall not be required so to notify the Proprietor until the expiration of ninety (90) days from the date of the first publication of the Work).  If within thirty (30) days after the Publisher’s having proposed such terms and conditions, the Publisher and the Proprietor fail to reach agreement with respect thereto, or if the Publisher does not wish to publish such work, then the Proprietor shall be free to arrange for publication elsewhere provided, however, that the Proprietor shall not enter into an agreement for publication of such work with any third party on terms and conditions equal to or less favorable than those terms and conditions offered by the Publisher.


Writers, beware of this, do not make the mistake I made; strike this from any contract; my publisher quite obviously is NOT MY FRIEND.  Worth it to hire someone else, a lawyer would be ideal to examine whatever it is before you sign; I am hoping that my former publisher –because never again, even were the world to end– never will I consent to any further book of any genre having to be published by this unscrupulous and deceitful publisher who liked to call herself my friend.  Hardly and never.


RUN AWAY FROM THIS, FOR IT IS POISON! –AND even worse when it seems to come from a friend, who is not MY FRIEND AT ALL –“WANNABE” is the last book, I intend to have published through you, and like that previous litigation, if you remember that, telling me, after so much had occurred, that you really didn’t want me to go to jail; why a lawsuit at all in that case?

"Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery f Reliries" Red Dress Code

Cover of “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery Of Realities’ Red Dress Code


I here post a couple of newspaper articles about that dreadful event of litigation:



just to refresh your memory.  I will not forget what was perpetrated by a pseudo-friend, and I will similarly tell my friends not to submit work to you if this is the treatment I can expect after an affiliation dating back to 1991, when I was a winner of the National Poetry Series Open Competition with that first collection of my poetry you published by Persea:

Rainbow Remnants in Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky

rainbow remnants

The start of our connection, and Wannabe is the last.  After the lying, “Remember, I am your friend?” –Hardly; friends do not treat friends like this; I’m sure you know that.  I was stupid enough to sign YOUR contract, and I realize now that “Wannabe” is more your book than my book, even with that naming of “black” truths behind “white” lies, even if this is not a “fair” or “just” characterization of me, but a better quote in your opinion than a quote I really wanted, 

this comes from your own website about MY book:

Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code: New & Selected Poems

Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities' Red Dress Code: New & Selected Poems Thylias Moss

Thylias Moss, one of American poetry’s great innovators, is a national taxonomist and secular preacher who catalogues our culture and responds in gorgeous outrage to its injustices. This career-spanning volume conveys the hypnotic spectrum of her full poetic output, from Hosiery Seams on a Bowlegged Woman, her 1983 debut, to Slave Moth, her acclaimed 2006 novel in verse, to more than fifty pages of new poems. Whether in early or recent writing, Moss makes no promises of smooth sailing: even when her poems begin with beloved cultural icons (Robert Frost, Doctor Who, the Statue of Liberty), they insist on new perspectives, truths, and realities. She is a fearless reimaginer of poetry’s possibilities, a writer who seems made for (and by) the digital age—its blitz of interactivity and reinvention—a futuristic archivist always compelled by the current moment.  Arranged chronologically, this volume offers us Moss as she has evolved through the past three decades, recognizable yet unpredictable, ever “a poet of fierce intelligence and radiant intensity” (Martín Espada). Wannabe Hoochie Mama of Realities’ Red Dress Code is an indispensable book, a record of who this essential writer has been and where she may be heading.

Praise for Thylias Moss
“Thylias Moss is a permanent American poet, canonical in the old, authentic sense.”—Harold Bloom

“As if the muse of Wallace Steves were transplanted into the body of a black, female pop-culture maven.”—David Yaffe, Village Voice

“It’s tempting to confuse Moss with the characters she describes, so deeply does she appear to inhabit their lives. . .[with] her trademark intensity and ferocious intelligence.”—Jabari Asim, Washington Post Book World

“Reading Thylias Moss is always dangerous and exhilarating, because one never knows exactly when the poem might explode and leave its reader marked forever.”—Raphael Campo, Parnassus Poetry in Review

“Thylias Moss names the black truths behind white lies. She is a writer who speaks bitterness and makes her own music of it.”—Marilyn Hacker, Women’s Review of Books

About the Author
Thylias Moss is Professor Emerita in the departments of English and Art & Design at the University of Michigan. Her eight previous books of poetry include Last Chance for the Tarzan Holler, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, and Slave Moth, named Best Poetry Book of 2004 by Black Issues Book Review. Moss is a recipient of the fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations, among other honors. She lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan.


–this seems the same as it was, what happened to the “no pigeonholing?”

and I will never forget this rejection of a quote I wanted for whatever reason, a rejection directly from KB:

“But it doesn’t address the work, or evoke it for the reader.  It did not persuade us to change our original decision, which as you know was to use only excepts from reviews on the book jacket.” –including how I “name black truths behind white lies” –I have not made, well maybe you have, a race book, for it is undeniably YOUR BOOK, not really mine though my name appears as author.


 I do much more than “name the black truths behind white lies.”

I am much more than “a writer who speaks bitterness”

I am  a multiracial woman, pigeonholded as the publisher’s assistant said I wouldn’t be. I am speaking only the “truth“, for that is who I am, and if you really know me, then you also know how much “truth” means to me.

And I also have not forgotten this:

We would rather that you not post the pdf.  They are made specifically for reviewers. We don’t want them to be pirated, sold, reproduced, poems taken, etc. etc.  All of these things affect your income (and ours), and contribute to incorrect versions floating through history….  Please don’t do it.

I’ll confer with G– about the biography you sent, which, excepting a few punctuation changes, looks fine to me.  Let’s wait to hear G–‘s reaction.


Yes; for reviewers but not for me… Figures, doesn’t it as this is not my book. Affect my income? –seems that “Option #20” affects my income more than anything…


I am ready to receive my bound galley; your own copy is fine; I’m sure, but I have no proof, just as I am pigeonholed with that “black truths stuff”  that you reserved a copy of the ARC of YOUR book for yourselves, my “friend”


I was told this as explanation for why I will not receive an ARC or bound galley:


“As I wrote, you were sent an ARC, the first copy that went to anyone. However, ARCs are bound for reviewers at newspapers and journals in order to get attention for the book and for you. If there are no copies remaining, it’s because we have been active advocating for you and your poetry.”


Well, Option #20 does not advocate for me or my poetry! –so kindly, as I said, send me another ARC! –I will be waiting for it, and do not worry, I will sign nothing else from YOUR publishing house, and I do mean nothing.  And as I read from “Wannabe” I will preface my reading with “Option #20” –of course, as a warning to whoever else is there.

The mask is off.  I know the truth, also of my own stupidity;  for I did sign it, you will note at this link info against Option #2o, almost verbatim to what is in my “Wannabe” contract:

“The Option Clause”



Here is the option itself extracted from the website above:

The Author agrees to give the Publisher a 30-day option on his next book-length work on the same terms as this agreement, which option period shall begin on the day the completed manuscript for such work is received by the publisher or thirty days after the publication of the book covered by this agreement, whichever shall be later.

Read more at: http://www.freelancewriting.com/articles/FF-the-option-clause-in-a-book-contract.php
Copyright © FreelanceWriting.com – All content on our website is copyrighted in the U.S. and internationally and may NOT be re-produced, or re-printed, online or offline.

What poison!



and of course, “Smiling Faces, Sometimes, The UNDISPUTED Truth:



and “Return of the Mack”  –you lied to me, you really did.



you know what you did, and I know what you did, so even I guess.  





–and we will not fail.


You said “I hope you’ll find your original copy, so that you will feel certain.”


I do feel certain that I’ve been had, Option #20 makes me certain of that.




Now I can write to my heart’s content.  YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND!  –it has never been more than a business relationship, and that is all that it is now.  I hope your BOOK DOES WELL; I WILL MAKE IT KNOWN WHEN A BOOK OF MINE, REALLY IS “MY” BOOK!


and this is no Family Affair; this is not friendship; if it were you would not have done this




Happy Option #20 to you!

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