Amber Flora Thomas’s Life
Amber Flora Thomas is a celebrated living American poetess, who was born and raised in San Francisco, in the United States of America. She grew up in an artistic family, as her mother herself was an ardent painter, who used to paint abstract landscapes, while her father was a passionate sculptor. However, her parents drew a clear distinction between being artists and parents. This, of course, made a deep impression on Flora’s mind, and it became an inspiration for her to join the field of creative writing. She also has acknowledged her background in an artistic family in her writings as well as in her interviews.
What instigated her to begin a journey towards a career in writing was the fact that her father published a book of his poetry when Thomas was just twelve. Though it was a self-published work, nonetheless he had worked hard on this book throughout his life. Since her father was an ardent reader of Biblical texts, poetry books, and anything related to spirituality, he ended up by translating his interests into poetry. Another imperative trigger that drove her father to writing poetry was his break up with his wife when Thomas was just ten. The intensity of this emotional experience eventually pushed him to writing poems, which were published independently.
Her father’s poetry strongly moved Flora, and, following his footsteps, Flora started writing at an adolescent age. After finishing her pre-collegiate schooling, Flora entered the Humboldt State University and earned a bachelor’s degree from there. After four years, she earned her Master’s in Fine Arts in poetry from Washington University in St. Louis. Currently, she is working as an assistant professor at East Carolina University, in Greenville, North Carolina. She also taught at Dominican University in California and Washington University in St. Louis.
Amber Flora Thomas’s Works
Before listing her works, it is worth mentioning here that as an avid reader, Thomas has been strongly influenced by a diverse group of writers. She is enlivened by the work of Toni Morrison, “Playing in the Dark,” and Francine Prose’s books. She also often reads Mary Roach’s “Bonk,” David Lodge’s “The Art of Fiction,” and Dean Young’s “The Art of Recklessness,” which each have had a strong influence on her poetic rhythm. Apart from reading poetry, Flora also reads literary journalism. As far as prose is concerned, Flora is an ardent lover of the works of Sondra Perl and Mimi Schwartz’s “Writing True: The Art of Crafting Creative Writing,” while the poetry ofJane Kenyon, T.S Eliot, Charles Wright, Carl Phillips, Louise Glück, and a few others have also greatly impacted her verses.
Thomas’s poetry has been published in various popular literary magazines such as Zyzzyva, Orion Magazine, American Literary Review, Callaloo, Alaska Quarterly Review and Crab Orchard Review. She published her first book “Eyes of Water” in 2005; her second book “The Rabbits Could Sing” was published in 2012.
Amber Flora Thomas’s Style and Popular Poems
The writing style of Thomas has various modes. She tends to followthe style ofCarl Phillips and Jane Kenyon in most of her poems. There are many layers of meaning in her works due to breakage of relationships in her immediate environment and home, and she tends to merge the past into present through strong images. She herself admits that her poems represent a structured lens of life taken out from the past. Her style shows the complexity of her observations and the intricate process of her experience, as she tries to resolve the chaos in life and face the bitter realities of this chaos. She has woven several strands of themes and ideas into her poems, which show the intricacies of the experiences she has undergone during her life. Thomas’s approach supports the empowerment of women at certain points. Her popular published poems include “The Rabbits Could Sing” published in 2012, “A Bird in Hand,” “Aubade,” “Dress,” “Possible Endings,” and “Dream in Montana.”
More about Her
Amber Flora Thomas has received several poetry awards, including The Dylan Thomas Prize, the Ann Stanford Prize, and the Richard Peterson Prize. In addition, she recently received the Cave Canem Poetry Prizefor her popular work “The Rabbit Could Sing.”