Fr. 22.50

African Sleeping Sickness - Stories and Poems

English · Paperback / Softback

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¿Coleman is one of the decade's most moral poets, showing us in feverishly focused first- and third-person dramatic monologues the grim life of L.A.'s streets. It's impossible to paraphrase her colloquial, dynamic style: where I live / the little gangsters diddy-bop through and pick up / young bitches and flirt with old ones, looking to / snatch somebody's purse or find their way into somebody's / snatch 'cause mama don't want them at home and papa / is a figment and them farms them farms them farms / they call schools, and mudflapped bushy-headed entities / swoop the avenue seeking death / it's the only thrill left / where I live. Understanding does not mean, to Coleman, mild forgiveness, it means hot rage against those of any color who prey on others in pain. Contextualizing murder, rape, poverty, addiction showing us their human faces gives Coleman a 'shattered heart,' makes her feel 'thrown heart first into this ruin,' but the experience transforms the reader.¿ ¿Booklist


About the author










Wanda Coleman¿poet, storyteller and journalist¿was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. Coleman was awarded the prestigious 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for Bathwater Wine from the American Academy of Poets, becoming the first African-American woman to ever win the prize, and was a bronze-medal finalist for the 2001 National Book Award for Poetry for Mercurochrome. In 2020, poet Terrance Hayes edited and introduced a selection of her work, Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems, the first new collection of her work since her death in 2013.


Summary

“Coleman is one of the decade's most moral poets, showing us in feverishly focused first- and third-person dramatic monologues the grim life of L.A.'s streets. It's impossible to paraphrase her colloquial, dynamic style: where I live / the little gangsters diddy-bop through and pick up / young bitches and flirt with old ones, looking to / snatch somebody's purse or find their way into somebody's / snatch 'cause mama don't want them at home and papa / is a figment and them farms them farms them farms / they call schools, and mudflapped bushy-headed entities / swoop the avenue seeking death / it's the only thrill left / where I live. Understanding does not mean, to Coleman, mild forgiveness, it means hot rage against those of any color who prey on others in pain. Contextualizing murder, rape, poverty, addiction showing us their human faces gives Coleman a 'shattered heart,' makes her feel 'thrown heart first into this ruin,' but the experience transforms the reader.” —Booklist

Additional text

“Wanda Coleman is not just wickedly wise, she is transcendent.”—The Washington Post

Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems: “Wanda Coleman was a great poet, a real in-the-flesh, flesh-eating poet who also happened to be a real black woman. Amid a life of single motherhood, multiple marriages, and multiple jobs that included waitress, medical file clerk, and screenwriter, she made poems. She denounced boredom, cowardice, the status quo. Few poets of any stripe write with as much forthrightness about poverty, about literary ambition, about depression, about our violent, fragile passions.” —Terrance Hayes
The Riot Inside Me: More Trial and Tremors: “Coleman is best known for her ‘warrior voice.’ [But her] voice too can weep elegiac, summoning memories of childhood’s neighborhoods – her South L.A.’s wild-frond palms, the smog-smear of pre-ecology consciousness. Her voice hits notes as desperate as Billie Holiday’s tours of sorrow’s more desolate stretches. But it can also land a wily punch line as solid as that of a stand-up comic.”—Los Angeles Times
Mercurochrome: “Wanda Coleman’s poetry stings, stains, and ultimately helps heal wounds like the old-fashioned mercurochrome of her title. No easy remedy for the lacerating American concerns of racism and gender bias, Coleman’s poetry transforms pain into empathy. . . these searing, soaring poems challenge us to repair the fractures of human difference, and feel what it is to be made whole again.”—The National Book Award Poetry Judges 2001, Stanley Plumly, Chair
Bathwater Wine: “A poet whose angry and extravagant music, so far beyond baroque, has been making itself heard across the divide between West Coast and East, establishment and margins, slams and seminars, across the too-American rift among races and genders.” —from the jury's citation for the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize
Hand Dance: “Coleman’s poems are an act of liberation, meant to be experienced as something almost physical, like a punch or a whipping . . . she wants her language to express anger, to incite anger, and to shake all those who read it out of their complacency.”—The Nation
War of Eyes: “These are extraordinary stories, told in a powerful voice. This is the painful reality of the powerlessness that is too often shrouded in bureaucratic anonymity—a probation number, a welfare case number. Coleman, with her fine poet’s eye and strong intense language, brings to life their somber existences.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review, front page
Imagoes: “Hard, brilliant strokes shot through with street music . . .”—Booklist

Product details

Authors Wanda Coleman
Publisher Ingram Publishers Services
 
Languages English
Product format Paperback / Softback
Released 08.08.2006
 
EAN 9780876858127
ISBN 978-0-87685-812-7
No. of pages 328
Subjects Fiction > Narrative literature

Los Angeles, Fiction & related items, California, FICTION / Urban, POETRY / American / African American, Social discrimination & inequality, Relating to African American people, TOPICAL / Women's Interest, TOPICAL / Black History

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