I Heard God Talking to Me: William Edmondson and His Stone Carvings

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Feb 2, 2009 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 56 pages

One night in the early 1930s, William Edmondson, the son of former slaves and a janitor in Nashville, Tennessee, heard God speaking to him. And so he began to carve – tombstones, birdbaths, and stylized human figures, whose spirits seemed to emerge fully formed from the stone. Soon Edmondson's talents caught the eye of prominent members of the art world, and in 1937 he became the first black artist to have a solo exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Here, in twenty-three free-verse poems, award-winning poet Elizabeth Spires gives voice to Edmondson and his creations, which tell their individual stories with wit and passion. With stunning photographs, including ten archival masterpieces by Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Edward Weston, this is a compelling portrait of a truly original American artist.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rdelamatre - LibraryThing

A wonderful book of poems which introduces the little-known sculpture of folk artist William Edmonson. Great poems, excellent photos and compelling artwork make this a highly recommended book--for kids and adults. Read full review

I HEARD GOD TALKING TO ME: William Edmondson and His Stone Carvings

User Review  - Kirkus

Born to freed slaves near Nashville circa 1870 and unschooled, Edmondson began sculpting in limestone in his late 50s. In his own words, it was "God telling me what to do." He began fashioning ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

ELIZABETH SPIRES, the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, is the author of six poetry collections for adults, and the children's book The Mouse of Amherst. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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