Melodies of the Oppressed
by Chris L. Butler
Publication Date: 19 September 2023
Nightingale & Sparrow Press
Chris L. Butler’s Melodies of the Oppressed is a chapbook born out of necessity, mostly written during the first one hundred days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Readers will find themselves standing in the puddles of tears Butler weeps for his people. This is a collection where the fumes of nationwide Black American frustration are felt from the past to present. Melodies of the Oppressed has a voice that does not hold back in the call for Black liberation.
In this chapbook, you will find elegies for names like Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor. Written as an act of literary civil disobedience during lockdown, in Melodies of the Oppressed you will feel the musicality of Chris L. Butler’s inner thoughts. These poems examine highly contested topics like the removal of statues, the Trump administration, police brutality, reproductive rights, political cyberbullies, and more. They are a call for attention to the everyday experience of Black Americans during the pandemic with the largest implications.
Melodies of the Oppressed is a book meant for the page and the stage. But it should also be shouted from the nucleus of a megaphone.
About the Author
Chris L. Butler is a Black American and Dutch poet-essayist originally from Philadelphia, PA. He is the author of two other chapbooks, Sacrilegious: Poems & Prose (Fahmidan Publishing & Co, 2021) and BLERD: ‘80s BABY, ‘90s KID (Daily Drunk Books, 2021). He is a three-time Pushcart nominee between the genres of poetry and creative nonfiction, and a one-time Best of the Net Nominee. Chris currently works as the Co-Deputy Editor at Afros in Tha City and the Editorial Director of the International BIPOC Collective Think in Ink. He is committed to universal social justice and progress.
Photo by Yasmin Peeran