Lions Don't Eat Us Poems

Constance Quarterman Bridges

Graywolf Press




80 Pages



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Winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize

In this prize-winning collection, Constance Quarterman Bridge offers beautifully crafted poems influenced by the determination, struggles, and histories of the African-American tradition (particularly those of women). Praised by Sonia Sanchez as "a tough-minded herstory/history that demands that we investigate, listen to, dance within, and defend their beauty," Lions Don't Eat Us is the winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize—a prize founded to promote the artistic and professional development of emerging African-American poets.


Praise for Lions Don't Eat Us

"When I finished reading Lions Don't Eat Us, the first word that came to mind was dignity, Constance Quarterman Bridges's own, and the dignity she confers on her cast of characters. She doesn't try to startle us with the outrages of slavery and their aftermath; she assumes we know them. Instead she honors her ancestors by mediating their histories, and by giving them voice. Bridges has stories to tell, witnessing to do, and in this her first book she finds a language to her task that pretties up nothing while remaining lyrical and lovingly precise."—Stephen Dunn

"In Lions Don't Eat Us, Constance Quarterman Bridge gives readers the gift of the griot's embodied eloquence, memory working to delicately braid the fibers of a family's connected lives. The core of the African-American tradition has been waiting for this book."—Afaa Michael Weaver

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Constance Quarterman Bridges

  • Constance Quarterman Bridges, a native of New Jersey, began her writing career in 1987 after early retirement as a Program Analyst for the Treasury Department. She has won two Fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for her poetry, and has published poems in several magazines and anthologies, including The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry.