Bless the Ashes is an urban hymn to elemental influences: Peter Harris's mother and the reverberations of the ethical gifts she gave him during her fifty-seven years on earth; the integrity at the core of cultures crafted under duress by people of African descent; the urishment of waters, actual and symbolic; powerful music (from the One and 4/4 to symphonic and atonal); as well as the exhilaration of tapping the flow of creativity. These poems are about an adult search for deep humanity and the best of community. This book crystallizes Harris's most expansive quest for a creative voice of individuality and inspiration. With Bless the Ashes, he uses words to blend the imaginative, emotional, and intellectual to get beyond words and into a visceral field that should move anyone participating fully into their human journey.
Peter J. Harris, founder and artistic director of Inspiration House, is an African American cultural worker who has since the 1970s published his poetry, essays, and fiction in a wide range of national publications. He has worked as a publisher, journalist, editor and broadcaster, and he has been an educator and workshop leader for adults and adolescents. Harris is also founding director of The Black Man of Happiness Project, a creative, intellectual, and artistic exploration of black men and joy.