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The latest installment of the yearly anthology of contemporary American poetry that has achieved brand-name status in the literary world.
Kevin Young follows his acclaimed exploration of the blues in Jelly Roll with another playful riff on a vital art form, giving us a film noir in verse. Black Maria-the title is a slang term for a police van as well as a hearse-is a twisting tale of suspicion, passion, mystery, and the city. Young channels the world of detective movies, picking up its lingo and dark glamour in five "reels" of poetry-the adventures of a "soft-boiled" private eye, known as A.K.A. Jones, and an ingenue turned femme fatale, Delilah Redbone, who's come to town from down south ("Mama bent till dark/tending rows to send/Me to school... I wanted/ To head on & hitch... strike it/Big"). We follow Jones and Delilah through a maze of aliases and ambushes, sex and suspicions, fast talk and hard luck, in Shadowtown where noir characters abound. The Killer, The Gunsel, The Hack, The Director, The Champ, and The Snitch are among the local luminaries and beautiful losers who mingle with Jones and his elusive lady as they stalk one another through the scenes of the poet's dazzling "treatment." Charming, funky, bleak, humorous, picaresque, and full of pathos, Black Maria is brimming with the originality and stark lyricism we have come to expect from this remarkable poet.
A rich and lively gathering of highlights from the first twenty years of an extraordinary career, interspersed with "B sides" and "bonus tracks" from this prolific and widely acclaimed poet. Blue Laws gathers poems written over the past two decades, drawing from all nine of Kevin Young's previously published books of poetry and including a number of uncollected, often unpublished, poems. From his stunning lyric debut (Most Way Home, 1995) and the amazing "double album" life of Jean-Michel Basquiat (2001, "remixed" for Knopf in 2005), through his brokenhearted Jelly Roll: A Blues (2003) and his recent forays into adult grief and the joys of birth in Dear Darkness (2008) and Book of Hours (2014), this collection provides a grand tour of a poet whose personal poems and political poems are equally riveting. Together with wonderful outtakes and previously unseen blues, the profoundly felt poems here of family, Southern food, and loss are of a piece with the depth of personal sensibility and humanity found in his Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels or bold sequences such as "The Ballad of Jim Crow" and a new "Homage to Phillis Wheatley."From the Hardcover edition.
Winner of the 2013 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry"The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 may be the most important book of poetry to appear in years."--Publishers Weekly"All poetry readers will want to own this book; almost everything is in it."--Publishers Weekly"If you only read one poetry book in 2012, The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton ought to be it."-NPR"The 'Collected Clifton' is a gift, not just for her fans...but for all of us."--The Washington Post"The love readers feel for Lucille Clifton-both the woman and her poetry-is constant and deeply felt. The lines that surface most frequently in praise of her work and her person are moving declarations of racial pride, courage, steadfastness."-Toni Morrison, from the ForewordThe Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 combines all eleven of Lucille Clifton's published collections with more than fifty previously unpublished poems. The unpublished poems feature early poems from 1965-1969, a collection-in-progress titled the book of days (2008), and a poignant selection of final poems. An insightful foreword by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison and comprehensive afterword by noted poet Kevin Young frames Clifton's lifetime body of work, providing the definitive statement about this major America poet's career.On February 13, 2010, the poetry world lost one of its most distinguished members with the passing of Lucille Clifton. In the last year of her life, she was named the first African American woman to receive the $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize honoring a US poet whose "lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition," and was posthumously awarded the Robert Frost Medal for lifetime achievement from the Poetry Society of America."mother-tongue: to man-kind" (from the unpublished the book of days):all that I am asking isthat you see me as somethingmore than a common occurrence,more than a woman in her ordinary skin.
Book of poetry by John Berryman, who won the 1965 Pulitzer Prize for the Poetry with his book 77 Dream Songs.
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