SAY/MIRROR is JP Howard's debut poetry collection, published by The Operating System (2015). A second expanded edition of SAY/MIRROR (2016) has been released and is available via Small Press Distribution and directly through JP's publisher, The Operating System. This new edition contains more poems and a dedication to JP's mom, who was an inspiration for this poetry/memoir book.

Poetry. African & African American Studies. LGBT Studies. Women’s Studies. Essay. Hybrid Genre. JP Howard’s debut collection, SAY/MIRROR, is a dialogue of history and memory, reflecting on and integrating vintage photographs of her mother, Ruth King (a fairly well known African American runway model in Harlem during the 1940’s and 1950’s) with snapshots from the poet’s own childhood. This manuscript began to emerge when Howard gained access to a large collection of her mother’s modeling photos, as well as some local Harlem magazine and newspaper clippings, and was thereby offered a window into her heyday, begging comparison to and recollection of a complex motherhood away from the spotlight. Here is a project that seeks to use poetry as both memoir and biography, alongside the evocative nostalgia of vintage image—a map from which Howard has pieced together the bright but uneven path of growing up in the shadow of a “model” mother. The atlas of SAY/MIRROR charts the islands of the poet and her mother’s overlapping lives—unearthing the shared experiences of a single parent and only child, coming to terms with each other in the 1970’s and 80’s: a socio-historical-emotional retelling of the life of a diva through a daughter’s eyes, with both parent and child learning to navigate the rocky terrain therein.
— Small Press Distribution
JP Howard’s collection of poems is a raw reminder of the experience of motherhood and daughterhood. Her sharp memories of love and neglect; elegance, admiration and inadequacy leave a salty/sweet taste not soon forgotten.
— Jewelle Gomez, double Lambda Award winning author of THE GILDA STORIES and ORAL TRADITION
Juliet P Howard’s porcelain collection of daughter memoirs is enough to break into you like fine China–the shadow of her legacy hovering just above diva, the tenderness of grief stained just below doll.
— Anastacia Tolbert, CAVE CANEM Fellow and EDGE Scholar Artist
Don’t let the compact size of this collection fool you into thinking it’s impact is small. Within these pages lie the full range of child- to adulthood musings and coming-to-terms understanding, blended with compassion, curiosity, and challenge. The author offers a variety of styles, voices and moods such that, by the end, we feel we have been offered a glimpse through her lens, seen her mirror(ed), left with our own reflections of that most important and too-often fraught relationship of mother and daughter. Howard is not afraid to bring all of herself to the page, and we are the beneficiaries of her trust.
— Sarah W. Bartlett, Review, Mom Egg Review
Praise Juliet Howard for the wonderful ability to bring to life a mother whose beauty, seduction and danger challenge the notions of a young girl growing up in her shadow. SAY/MIRROR manages to capture — with sharp detail and lively resonant language — the elegance and ambivalence of the poet’s mother and her world. These poems evoke images of passion and loss, pain and joy. We must all stand up and applaud the poem ‘pushing her way to the surface…her shape on the page as she unfolds.
— Pamela L. Laskin, author of Ronit and Jamil (forthcoming), Harper Collins