Thomas, Amber Flora
Thomas, Amber Flora
Education: Humboldt State University, B.A., 1994; Washington University, M.F.A., 1998.
Home—CA. Office—Department of English, University of Alaska Fairbanks, P.O. Box 757500, Fairbanks, AK 99775. E-mail—[email protected]
Poet. Former teacher at Washington University, St. Louis, MO, and at Dominican University of California; University of Alaska, Fairbanks, assistant professor of English, 2006—.
Marin Arts Council Individual Artist grant; Richard Peterson Prize; Ann Stanford Prize; Academy of American Poets prize; Cave Canem Poetry Prize, 2004, and PEN USA Literary Award finalist, PEN/Faulkner Foundation, 2006, for Eye of Water: Poems.
Eye of Water: Poems, University of Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 2005.
Contributor of poetry to books, including Cloud View Poets: An Anthology, Arctos Press, 2005; Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem's First Decade, University of Michigan Press, 2005. Contributor of poetry to periodicals, including Crab Orchard Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Sycamore Review, Phoebe, Columbia Poetry Review, Marlboro Review, Southern Poetry Review, Rattle, Laurel Review, Southern California Anthology, Clackamas Literary Review, Carolina Quarterly Review, River Styx, Pleiades, New Orleans Review, Calyx, Gulf Coast, Bellingham Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Runes: A Review of Poetry.
Amber Flora Thomas is a poet whose collection Eye of Water: Poems won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize in 2004. A reviewer for the Black Issues Book Review called it a "rich debut," one that is "refreshing and fortifying" in its focus on the ordinary daily rounds of work and life. Images of the natural world provide metaphors for the nature of life and love. The poems are "simply stated, lovely," noted the reviewer. Eye of Water impressed Reginald Harris in the Lambda Book Report, who called the collection "highly polished and accomplished, an elegiac work that has the knowing tone of an old master." Harris commented on the intensity of feeling in the work, along with the mood of sadness and loss that pervades it. He noted a recurring theme, which is that no matter how close one becomes to another, there remains an essential unknowability in others. Relationships are thus fragile, and the poetry reflects this. Eye of Water is, Harris concluded, a "rich and haunting book."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Black Issues Book Review, March 1, 2006, review of Eye of Water: Poems, p. 19.
Lambda Book Report, spring, 2006, Reginald Harris, review of Eye of Water.
Saturday Poets,http://www.saturdaypoets.org/ (August 28, 2007), biographical information about Amber Flora Thomas.
University of Alaska Fairbanks,http://www.uaf.edu/index.html/ (September 12, 2007), biography of Thomas.