Rock | Salt | Stone
Poetry | $15.95
paperback, 120 pages, 6.5 x 8.5 in
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 978-1-937658-61-8

Rock | Salt | Stone sprays life-preserving salt through the hard realities of rocks, stones, and rockstones used as anchors, game pieces, or weapons. The manuscript travels through Africa, the Caribbean, and the USA, including cultures and varieties of English from all of those places. The poems center the experience of the outsider, whether she is an immigrant, a woman, or queer. Sometimes direct, sometimes abstract, these poems engage different structures, forms, and experiences while addressing the sharp realities of family, sexuality, and immigration.

Nation language, language poetry, prose poems, spells, Caribbean nancy stories, queer issues, Rock|Salt|Stone, African (Yoruba) belief systems and ancestral memory all find a place in Rosamond S. King’s multiplicity of forms. The embodied quality of the poems and King’s willingness to confront the inherent difficulty of relationship with the Other, who is always us, grounds the work in a somatic poetics that demands the reader pay attention. 

— M. NourbSe Philip

"... are you creating demons/or maybe just writing poems?" When the poem is a spell, the poet does both: conjuring. In the startling Rock | Salt | Stone, Rosamond S. King calls demons of sudden, though long due violence; of folklore mashed up down the hold to be “mashed up” with what awaits on new shores; of perverse yearnings to pike transgressive sexuality on a cis-man’s index. King works hard magic in the smoke of this infernal manufactory, nose open for at least two kinds of salt, ears open to crack double-jointed syntax, eyes open to those who swear destroying her is divine. She sees them traveling their straight line—this bravura book of curses means to curve them.  Douglas Kearney

In Rock|Salt|Stone, poet, critic, artist, and activist Rosamond S. King creates and conjures the elemental, in form and language, into a stellar, black, queer womynist force. Traversing continents (Gambia, Trinidad and Tobago, the US), and a variety of idioms, King’s poems cast sparks, strike lightning. Showing how poetry can shift codes and embody experience, whether that of women coming out to their family and loving each other without fear, whether calling upon the deities or living and surviving chronic pain, King playfully sculpts with the tenderness of a razor, and she ain’t playing. Enter into these poems, and surrender to their spell.  John Keene

"There are many points in this poem where the conversation subtly moves towards the internal, then stirs into spaces of Out, brave and controversial. This collection closes with beautiful pieces that speak to the honest erotic with the backbone of Audre Lorde, while visiting awhile with the blunt, lower cased love of Lucille Clifton's prose. Throughout the experience, you can find her stopping every few poems to enliven our senses. Likening sex to food such as "salt, white corn tortilla chips, for instance, or popcorn that is not overcome with butter;" while instructing on spells of irresistble love"—Monifa Lemons, Sinister Wisdom


"Too often Caribbean girls are still expected to be less active, less in public space, than boys and young men. Too often, we are associated with fruit – in Trinidad, a girl acting like a woman is said to be “force-ripe,” like a fruit forced to ripen early. and it’s interesting that you use the word space in your question, because Caribbean spaces also exist in the diaspora, where these attitudes often continue to be passed down to our children."—Jacqueline Bishop interviews Rosamond S King for the Jamaica Observer