Poet/Playwright/Fiber Artist Cherryl T. Cooley has published two volumes of poems as Cherryl Floyd-Miller: Utterance: A Museology of Kin (Sadorian, 2003) and Exquisite Heats (Salt Publishing, 2008). Her art/poetry chapbook Chops, produced in conjunction with Nexus Press in 2004, won an AIGA Gold SEED Award and is permanently housed in the Museum of Modern Art. The chapbook was produced as a part of her DIALOG Fellowship with the Fulton County Arts Council in Atlanta.
Also a recipient of literary fellowships from Caldera, Cave Canem, the Vermont Studio Center, Idyllwild Summer in Poetry, and Indiana Arts Commission, Cherryl has work published by Poetry, Essence magazine, North Carolina Literary Review, Copper Nickel, Crab Orchard Review, Anthropology & Humanism and numerous anthologies.
Cherryl is the inaugural winner of the Companion Poems Contest, co-sponsored by the Virginia Center for the Book and Poetry Daily. A poem from her unpublished manuscript, Hoofer, was selected by the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts to accompany a Fall 2017 concerto by Brooklyn, NY-based musical ensemble Sō Percussion.
The 2022 winner of the Joseph Pendleton Campbell Memorial Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of Virginia, Cherryl makes a living as a Content Strategy & Design leader and lives in Woodbridge, Virginia.
The import of sound and music, cultural iconography, and the fine-spun image are pulsing throughout Cherryl Floyd-Miller’s third collection of poems, Exquisite Heats. She explores the infinite manifestations of heat in the human experience. She moves comfortably from issues of public history and personal identity to the musings of revered icons. R&B legend Rick James speaks of impropriety and addiction, Marvin Gaye reveals his aesthetic struggles as a popular artist, Billie Holiday gives voice lessons, Alice Walker’s Celie Johnson boils grits, and Joe Frazier recounts the night he beat Muhammad Ali.
Employing persona poems, ars poetica, the blues, sestinas, ghazals, sonnets and narrative free verse, Floyd-Miller proves her poetic skill through a wide range of form. In the award-winning poem, “Voodoo Chicken,” she lures you to take a sultry plunge into daring language and bewitching subject matter. But as she warns in the opening of this collection: Careful. “Nothing is there to catch you.”
Cover image is from a fiber arts piece titled "Ogunji Hummingbirds" by Austin-based artist Wura Ogunji.