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ISBN: 978-1-7327866-3-9
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Reviews & Media Review in MEDIUM
Categories Nomadic, Poetry

Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine

Publication Date: February 2020


In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine was originally published by Nomadic.

Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine by Tureeda Mikell is a poetic-prose journey into the revelation of sun medicine that shows up like a rhyme in time to forewarn and sign the body and the mind. Filled with questions, answers, wordplay, interspecies connection, religious, scientific, and political satire, and prose about the Black Panthers, Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine connects readers with the universal ear that takes them on a healing journey into the mysterious interwoven nature of humans, birds, stars, and those from beyond.


“Lots of humor so sharp if has to be acknowledged as satire, purposefully rewritten language, fairy tales, shattering myth with older myth. Lots of playfulness but she is exacting emotional reparations. This poet uses wordplay as a verbal weapon, as in “buy-bull” instead of The Bible, and “in-no-sense” replaces innocence. Many of these poems investigate the rape of “indigenous active vision.” She will not let the church, organized religion, historical Christianity off the hook. “Is your god bipolar, a bully, a narcissist/ A depressed megalomaniac?” In COMMUNION, a poem that places the narrative in church, ostensibly to seek a lost sense of faith, ends with the narrator comparing communion to cannibalism. This body of work is very close to hip hop and rap with mean rhymes and bursts of staccato lines. Funny? Yes. Sharp-edged satire? Yes. Tender and loving? Yes, yes, yes. This is poetry that must be heard. It must be flown into shuttered minds like airplanes meant to crash.”

– Judy Juanita, English Professor at Laney College and author of Virgin Soul (Viking Press, 2013)

Read Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine sitting down. It ain’t for the faint of heart:

“You want to lay down sword and shield by the Riverside,
While shot, lynched, butchered, burned waft the air?”

Not only will Tureeda not lay down her sword, but her words are her weapons. These poems are a powerful act of exorcism and resistance against white racism and the violence it wields. Tureeda calls out the racist demons of Black history through her rant, cant, and naming of their multiple, evil disguises by her use of puns like Buy-Bull for Bible, profits for prophets, prey for pray, perish for parish and Son for Sun, which were key in the conversion of Sun and Nature worshippers into Jesus followers. By exposing the ambiguity and double-talk embedded in the Christian language of oppression, Mikell seeks to demystify its cult of “cannibalism,” which took the “Bantu tongue, Ripped into a thousand pieces, Babbles on and on” in a plea to return to the Native ways. The arc of the book follows Mikell’s own journey to healing the broken circle within herself, her community, and in the world without, through angry catharsis to self-reflection and self-reconciliation. In the final chapter, it’s the intimate connections Mikell forms with people and nature that are the light and oracles of her Sun Medicine.
Genny Lim, winner of the 1981 American Book Award, American poet (author of Winter Place, 1989, Kearny Street Workshop Press), playwright, and performer

Be careful casual reader—cold hard truths lie within. These are not poems, they are corrective sermons written to turn you around to look squarely in the face of logic and reason. Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine is a double barreled book blasting holes clean through your assumptions and understanding of nature, spirit, history, and race. It aims to disassemble language down to its barest elements to help readers rebuild common sense from scratch. A veteran teacher, master storyteller, Tureeda Mikell is a lyrical wonder digging deep into the words and symbols we too often take for granted. There’s a reason events rhyme and repeat, there’s a grander purpose behind those synchronistic events and occurrences linking like a chain around you. The answers you need are lit and laid open at your feet. The journey is yours to take.
James Cagney, author of Black Steel Magnolias in the Hour of Chaos Theory, winner of the 2019 Josephine Miles Pen Oakland award

In Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine, Tureeda Mikell let’s loose soaring compositions; and no quote is out of the question on this piano. She is our mother of the blues. Exposing peculiar souvenirs made into establishment sanctity or the mis-mythology of a nation; here is a poet who never surrenders her love for her people. She is the eternal revolutionary. All of our ghosts present. All of our sacred consistencies applied through hers which is the only language that light travels.
Tongo Eisen-Martin, author of Heaven Is All Goodbyes (City Lights, 2017), which received a 2018 American Book Award, a 2018 California Book Award, was named a 2018 National California Booksellers Association Poetry Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the 2018 Griffin International Poetry Prize

About the Author

© Asual Ahmad

Tureeda Mikell

Tureeda Ture Ade Mikell, Story Medicine Woman, author, activist for holism, called ‘word magician,’ is an award-winning poet, published nationally and internationally. Qigong Healer, workshop leader, storyteller, lyricist, performance artist, founder of The Tree of Life Foundation H.L.P. , advocate for youth and adults. Published over 70 student anthologies with CA Poets in the Schools since 1989.  Performed in schools, libraries and universities, Google, Genentech, Aspire, Lawrence Hall, and Golden Gate Academy of Sciences, Randall, Oakland, and De Young Museums. Was featured spoken word artist at SOAN [Soul of a Nation] Exhibit, and the American Academy of Poets, Fire Thieves, at the De Young, and Museum of the African Diaspora, (MoAD) Lit-Quake Afrofuturism. Featured storyteller for the 55 Year Anniversary of the Black Panther Party, National Association of Black Storytellers, featured poet storyteller celebrating Octavia Butler’s 70th birthday, and Eth-Noh-Tec Nu Wa Delegate storyteller in Beijing, China in collaboration with the University of Beijing.  Recent publications of her work can be found in, Black Fire This Time (Willow Press, 2022), Revolutionary Poets Brigade, Second Stutter (City Lights, 2022) Common Ground (Pease Press, 2022) and many more. Her full length collection, Synchronicity, The Oracle of Sun Medicine, was released in 2020, and nominated for the California Book Award. She is also co-curator of the Patrice Lumumba Anthology, released in 2021 by Nomadic Press, both now at Black Lawrence Press. 2023 has presented Tureeda to, Filoli, Stories in Bloom, Atherton, Stanford University, Poets by the Bay, Berkeley Museum of Modern Art, Berkeley, San Jose Poetry Center, Beautiful Black Books (BBB) interviewed by Tshaka Campbell, Santa Clara Poet Laureate, San Jose Museum of Art Invitational, curated by Poet Laureate Tshaka Campbell, Yerba Buena Gardens for the Arts, San Francisco Intersection for the Arts, S.F. Belmont Poetry Center, Belmont, and more…

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