Jeffery Renard Allensong-of-the-shank

JEFFERY RENARD ALLEN

"The prodigiously talented Jeffery Renard Allen is without question
one of our most important writers." —Junot Diaz


 

 

PRAISE
"Allen fuses intellect with images. Our language sparkles in his hands. His poems are word sculptures on paper. Allen seems to be following the tradition of Robert Hayden, Sterling Brown and Melvin Tolson. It's the place to be." 
E. Ethelbert Miller, Director, African American Resource Center, Howard University

 

"One minute, you're bleeding metaphysical beneath a streetlight, the next you're ancestral, breaking "into an unguarded cloudbank," spilling free. So many of these poems consecrate and dignify American lives. So many turn up kinship, so many turn perception into song."
Major Jackson

 

"These are not mere poems, but blues-rooted celebrations and revelations that bristle with love of language. These poems twist and shimmy to the rhythms of life, as if trumpeted from the bandstand by a raging horn section. Allen's 'jazzifications' resonate with the raw power of those fully engaged in establishing their humanity, yet burst off the page with that noisily embraceable joy of self-love and discovery no amount of evil can obliterate--a rush!" —Wanda Coleman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stellar Places

stellar places

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Jan 2007. 160 pp. Paperback. Asphodel Press.

 

CONTENTS

Invocation: prayer to Eshu-Elegba
Lint
Rails: things you see
Arrangement in black and gray
Hush arbor
Stellar places
Lionbird remembers sea
Hunger
Church poem
Nkisi: verses from Freetown
Sofala: a song of degrees
Song of the shank
Biblos/Teta Velata/The dreaming
Problems and methods
feitoria: cabotage: code noir: confradia
Word/inside
Bombe' Serre/slowdance
For country
Grecian urn: bop
Tornado in horn
Sugar assassin
Mo/the/red/tongues
Blood
Mens: blues narrative
Distance/desire
Blessed
Radiance
Blues for my boo
Night (against death)
Esu, master of potentiality
Terreiro
The diorama
Caritas
Counter composition: alien dog
Jacket, compass, duffel bag
Man/nam: four frames
America: the rapture
Missionary position
Tricks into light
Mud wit
The clearing
Twice gone
Days
Prophet in lace
He was like us: a war story
Soweto: the children's revolution
Off-key Sippi love song
Deep rock
L.A. suite
Ponto riscado
Hard to listen (slight return)
Addie
Asiento
Cogitation
Black gold: country son / stellar gypsy
Egungun (dead spirits): a closing prayer


 

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