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Blues Poems

Edited by Kevin Young

Blues Poems
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Category: Poetry - Anthologies (multiple authors)
Imprint: Everyman's Library
Format: Hardcover
Pub Date: September 2003
Price: $14.95
Can. Price: $16.99
ISBN: 978-0-375-41458-9 (0-375-41458-4)
Pages: 256



 
Born in African American work songs, field hollers, and the powerful legacy of the spirituals, the blues traveled the country from the Mississippi delta to “Sweet Home Chicago,” forming the backbone of American music. In this anthology—the first devoted exclusively to blues poems—a wide array of poets pay tribute to the form and offer testimony to its lasting power.

The blues has left an indelible mark on the work of a diverse range of poets: from “The Weary Blues” by Langston Hughes and “Funeral Blues” by W. H. Auden, to “Blues on Yellow” by Marilyn Chin and “Reservation Blues” by Sherman Alexie. Here are blues-influenced and blues—inflected poems from, among others, Gwendolyn Brooks, Allen Ginsberg, June Jordan, Richard Wright, Nikki Giovanni, Charles Wright, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Cornelius Eady. And here, too, are classic song lyrics—poems in their own right—from Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, Ma Rainey, and Muddy Waters.

The rich emotional palette of the blues is fully represented here in verse that pays tribute to the heart and humor of the music, and in poems that swing with its history and hard-bitten hope.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 
Kevin Young’s first book, Most Way Home, was selected for the National Poetry Series and won the Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares. His second book of poems, To Repel Ghosts, a “double album” based on the work of the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, was a finalist for the James Laughlin Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Young’s poetry and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, and Callaloo. He is editor of the anthology Giant Steps: The New Generation of African American Writers and the forthcoming Everyman’s Library Pocket Poet anthology Blues Poems. A former Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, Young is currently Ruth Lilly Professor of Poetry at Indiana University.





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