At age nineteen, author Teri O’Shea joined Peoples Temple in California led by Jim Jones. A member for seven years, she escaped Peoples Temple three weeks before the massacre in Jonestown, Guyana. The raw and powerful poems in Jonestown Lullaby explore her experience in Jonestown and the aftermath of her survival. A personal confidant to Jim Jones for seven years, O’Shea writes about the harrowing nightmare of Jonestown with an intensity and passion seldom captured in poetic form.
Teri was the last person to escape Peoples’ Temple before the massacre in Jonestown; now, she turns to writing to help find her way back to a more peaceful life. Jonestown Lullaby records her voyage, with vivid, stark images of the bewildering world that was Jonestown and the pathological madness of Jim Jones. Teri includes photographs of some of the Peoples Temple members who lived and lost their lives there; revealing an aspect of Jonestown rarely seen. This is her tribute to those who died so tragically.
I write from the poor side of silence
Of an unholy priesthood that
Captured my soul for a time
Neither confession nor biography
Follow the voyage of a lonely spirit
Into a realm where there are no answers