Teahouse of the Almighty There seems to be nothing Patricia Smith can't write a poem about. John Lee Hooker, the word anemone, a son who ghost-writes love letters for… 2006-09-01 Fiction Poetry Coffee House Press
Book Review

Teahouse of the Almighty (2006)

Details Release Date: Sep 01, 2006; Writer: Patricia Smith; Genres: Fiction, Poetry; Publisher: Coffee House Press

There seems to be nothing Patricia Smith can't write a poem about. John Lee Hooker, the word anemone, a son who ghost-writes love letters for his fellow prison inmates — her inspirations are various and dazzling. ''Let me feed on glory and grow fat,'' she writes to a lover in ''Map Rappin'.'' ''Let's fill this wicked church with music.'' Smith approaches the themes of love, family, and violence through accessible, graceful language in Teahouse of the Almighty and often praises her subjects — which include a murdered girl and a father with ''dimming and lying eyes, joints that smell thunder'' — with a simple ''hallelujah.''

Originally posted Sep 22, 2006 Published in issue #899 Sep 29, 2006 Order article reprints