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This Here Flesh

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About the Author

Cole Arthur Riley is the creator of Black Liturgies, a space where Black words of dignity, lament, rage, and rest, are curated and integrated with a liberating spirituality. She serves as the content and spiritual formation manager for Chesterton House: A Center for Christian Studies at Cornell University. Born and for the most part raised in Pittsburgh, Cole studied Writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She once took a professor's advice very seriously to begin writing a little every day, and has followed it for nearly a decade.


At a time when establishing peace within one's own soul is so vitally important, this book is a balm - reminding me to exercise the spiritual muscle of awe, to notice the simple and to find beauty in the ordinary.
*Ben Lindsay, Author of WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT RACE*

In This Here Flesh, Cole Arthur Riley reaches deep beneath the surface of words unspoken, wounds unhealed, and secrets untempered to break them open in order for fresh light to break through. Her personal anecdotes alongside Biblical anchors are serene vehicles through which any reader will remember the preciousness of their body, humanity, and most of all, their dignity.
*Morgan Jerkins, New York Times bestselling author of THIS WILL BE MY UNDOING*

This book is an invitation into the delicate weavings of family, inheritance, and pain, how they mark a bloodline, and connect a people. Riley writes with all the grace and gravity the spirit of humanity deserves. And somehow teaches us to think of ourselves as deserving of such grace, along the way. This is the kind of book that make you different when you're done.
*Ashley C. Ford, New York Times bestselling author of SOMEBODY'S DAUGHTER*

This book is breathtaking. Full of profound revelation and beauty woven into poetry, unforgettable imagery and story, it will stay with me long after I've read it. I will keep returning to its pages, ready to hear in Cole Arthur Riley's reflections new ways to see myself, my family, my faith and my God. Who knew truth-telling could be so beautiful?
*Chine McDonald, author of GOD IS NOT A WHITE MAN*

Welcome the rising of Cole Arthur Riley's astonishing voice. This is a gorgeous and muscular work.
*Krista Tippett, host of On Being*

Timeless. This is a book I know I will return to again and again. Through this work, I am reminded I am seen. I am reminded I am free.
*Morgan Harper Nichols, artist and poet*

Exquisite. . . Arthur Riley's writing is both transporting and hauntingly intimateas she narrates this important account of generational inheritance. The stories and meditations in this book are sure to stay with you forever.
*Ayo Tometi, co-founder of Black Lives Matter*

Through a narrative of family and generation, Cole Arthur Riley speaks of a Blackness so beautiful it can't be contained and a liberation that is present and possible. This Here Flesh is an invitation to hold space, return home and rediscover joy.
*Amena Brown, poet, author, and host of HER with Amena Brown podcast*

Beautiful. Soul-stirring. . . we rediscover a sense of awe for the bodies that make us, the stories that ground us, and the delicate grace that enlivens our spirits.
*Kate Bowler, New York Times bestselling author of NO CURE FOR BEING HUMAN*

This Here Flesh is a gospel to what we remember. This book is rigorous, joyous, complex, honest and tells the story of how we get free. It is a story that would not let me go.
*Danté Stewart, author of SHOUTIN’ IN THE FIRE*

[A] wonderfully winsome, heartbreakingly honest, and ever-poetic work of spiritual biography and theological reflection. While some theologians will talk in the abstract about 'incarnation,' 'enfleshment,' or 'embodiment,' Arthur Riley's book is a lesson in concreteness, in Black theology, in seeing a body, being a body, being a person rooted in time, space, stories, and very particular flesh.
*Library Journal (starred review)*

A multi-layered, moving and often a poetic exploration of faith, lament, community and much more.
*Keep the Faith*

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