Bracy, Ihsan 1957(?)–
Bracy, Ihsan 1957(?)–
PERSONAL: Born c. 1957, in Staunton, VA; children: three. Education: Graduated from Benington College.
ADDRESSES: Home—Brooklyn, NY. Office—c/o Mirror Repertory Company, P.O. Box 286186, New York, NY 10128. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Cool Grove Publishing Inc., 512 Argyle Rd., Brooklyn, NY 11218.
CAREER: Poet, playwright, author of short stories, director. Educator at Talent Unlimited High School; founder and artistic director of Tribe Ensemble, Jamaica Arts Center, Queens, NY. Director, The Duchess of Malfi, Westside Repertory Theatre, New York, NY.
MEMBER: New Renaissance Writers Guild.
Ibo Landing (short fiction), introduction by Brenda Connor-Bey, Cool Grove Press (Brooklyn, NY), 1998.
Also author of plays Against the Sun: The Southampton Slave Revolt of 1831 and N'toto; author of poetry collections cadre and Ubangi Files. Contributor to Dark Matter: Reading the Bones, edited by Sheree R. Thomas, Warner, 2004.
ADAPTATIONS: Ibo Landing was adapted for the stage by Mirror Repertory Company, New York, NY.
SIDELIGHTS: A descendant of the Gullah/Geechee culture of the islands off South Carolina and Georgia, African-American writer Ihsan Bracy mined his ancestry for his short story collection Ibo Landing. In twenty-two "graceful stories," as Arthur Flowers described them in the Black Issues Book Review, Bracy "displays his professional control of material, craft, and literary vision." Reviewing the work, a contributor for Publishers Weekly noted that "family and friendship are Bracy's forte."
Using the speech patterns of the Gullah as well as orthography that is all lowercase, Bracy tells of a marriage proposal from a seven-year-old in "proposal"; with "warrior seed" he presents an aunt who unwittingly pushes her young nephew toward violence in an attempt to make him stand up for himself; and in "fifty/fifty" a pair of nine-year-old boys deal with the idea of mortality for the first time. For the Publishers Weekly reviewer, such "pre-coming-of-age tales are among the collection's best."
Bracy noted on the Cool Grove Press Web site that while writing Ibo Landing he was "transported, as the sounds and smells would come to me." He described his stories as "revelations that my ancestors were allowing me to see." Bracy, who has taught in the New York City schools, is also the author of two plays and two volumes of poetry.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Black Issues Book Review, May-June, 1999, Arthur Flowers, review of Ibo Landing.
MultiCultural Review, September, 1999, Nikki D. Gilliam, review of Ibo Landing, pp. 69-70.
Publishers Weekly, October 12, 1998, review of Ibo Landing, p. 59.
Cool Grove Press Web site, http://www.coolgrove.com/ (October 11, 2004), interview with Bracy.
Dark Matter Contributors, http://www.nathanielturner.com/ (October 11, 2004), "Ihsan Bracy."