ISBN: 0-916418-93-6, $12



Armor and Flesh is Mendi Lewis Obadike's first book. This book was awarded the 2004 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award. It is published by Lotus Press. The cover image for the book was painted by Iona Rozeal Brown.


"Mendi Obadike pares her poems down to the stark, dark places where self and selves unfurl, confront, and recombine. She understands the art of distillation, both formal and emotional. Yet there is nothing reserved in these rich poems, which emanate from a deep understanding of unsentimental, polyphonic human complexity."

- Elizabeth Alexander

"These cleanly-wrought poems turn the world upside down, inside out. They confirm that nothing is simple. Flesh is complex, relentless in its appearance and changes. Like language (and the glad amazement in the sweat and tears of others) flesh could not long survive without the intricate armor of luck, imagination, and grace, which are the poet's special province."

- Houston A. Baker Jr.

"Language clean as a scalpel opens you to worlds of mysterious, powerful, terrifying life like a surgeon opens the body and reveals the great rivers inside."

- Toi Derricotte


Keith Obadike composed a companion soundscape for Armor and Flesh entitled SOFTSHELL. It can be ordered from