Welcome, Amber Allen-Peirson!

This month we are celebrating the titles that we’ve acquired over the past twelve months. Some of them, like the one we’re pleased to present today, came to us by way of Nomadic Press. Read more about our plans to welcome Nomadic Press titles to Black Lawrence Press here. Today we bring you Amber Allen-Peirson, whose forthcoming book The Unroooted Bloom will be published in early 2024.

Have a manuscript you think we’d like? During our June Open Reading Period we are looking for poetry (chapbooks and full-length collections), short fiction (again, both chapbooks and full-length collections), novels, novellas, nonfiction (CNF, biography, cultural studies), anthology proposals, and translations from German. 




The Author

Amber Allen-Peirson, aka Clarity is a powerful, empathic poet, activist, educator, orator, and consultant focused on being a catalyst for self-development and healing. She weaves her lived experiences, emotions and stories into literal metaphors, provoking reflection and visceral sensations in listeners. The process of writing is profoundly spiritual, like prayer for Amber. What she produces is a treat for human consumption. Amber coaches people and communities into seeking justice, achieving dreams, healing wounds, repairing relationships, and building stronger identities. Born and raised in Oakland, CA, she raised her son in the Bay Area where she still resides.




On Writing The Unrooted Bloom

I scribbled words in journals and the margins of notebooks my whole life but I did not take any of it seriously until 2005. I was living in a homeless shelter in Marin County with my 5 year old son while fighting myself free from the complicated entanglements of domestic violence. My whole life felt like it was burning around me and I did not know what to do. A girlfriend of mine took me to an open mic called Mouth Off in my hometown of Oakland.  I was absolutely and irrevocably inspired by the vulnerability of the poets in that room. Up until that point I had no way of expressing the things that I was going through and with no expression, I had created an internal narrative that said, “I was the only one in the world who had so many extreme tragedies going on at the same time.” Listening to all of the other poets showed me that there were lots of people battling the war of life. It depersonalized it and gave me permission to explore my experiences and the emotions that went with them.  Poetry gave me a place to process all of the violent experiences that I was surrounded by and empower myself. From there, poetry became like a form of prayer for me and I was prolific in my faith. I wrote about everything and I wrote everywhere. I wrote poems on napkins, the backs of menus, notebooks, and any paper I could get my hands on. Every poem was like a catharsis liberating me from the confusion of my life and clarifying my own spirit and power. Writing is my faith, my lover, the soul beneath my skin. Poetry is my way of being in conversation with God. 



Selection from The Unrooted Bloom


There is a tunnel in
            My body
Light Guided Opening
Scripted with Glyphs
Translated to

Our beings
            The beginning
The entryway to breath
Containers of Creation
Architects of Existence
“There is nothing but mother’s and our children on this Earth”
yet men posture themselves as gods
never learned to
            make offerings with seed for soil
never learned to

            harvest wombs and women
never learned to
            protect the bodies making babies

             In this lifetime
we are lost to the balance of our existence
the need to be in harmony with each other
cannot untie the ties of life

I am affected by you
I am responsible for you
and yet babies are born
To Black Women in a world that steals the breath from their lungs
8 minutes and 46 seconds
traffic stops with broken tail lights
dreaming in bed
With lovers
lovers with fingers around the throats of Somebody’s baby
Somebody’s creator

We are unprotected
            making life in a world
that wages war on
            our bodies
and the
            Black Babies born from us
We are unprotected
in neighborhoods poisoned with lies that steal the love we whisper to our children before dreaming
We are unprotected
sacrificing and pouring ourselves empty into our men begging for return


Your worship of Me is not weakness
It is necessary


Into Me
Into Us


            Honor Me
            Honor Us
            Protect Me
            Protect Us

We are the portals to existence
You are the Givers of Life that We create
In Wombs that welcomed You here
            I honor You
Please return

The Wombs of Black Women