The New Black

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-01-25
  • Publisher: Wesleyan Univ Pr

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Smart, grounded, and lyrical, Evie Shockley's the new black integrates powerful ideas about "blackness," past and present, through the medium of beautifully crafted verse. the new black sees our racial past inevitably shaping our contemporary moment, but struggles to remember and reckon with the impact of generational shifts: what seemed impossible to people not many years ago--for example, the election of an African American president--will have always been a part of the world of children born in the new millennium. All of the poems here, whether sonnet, mesostic, or deconstructed blues, exhibit a formal flair. They speak to the changes we have experienced as a society in the last few decades--changes that often challenge our past strategies for resisting racism and, for African Americans, ways of relating to one another. The poems embrace a formal ambiguity that echoes the uncertainty these shifts produce, while reveling in language play that enables readers to "laugh to keep from crying." They move through nostalgia, even as they insist on being alive to the present and point longingly towards possible futures.

Table of Contents

my last modernist poem, # 4 (or, re-re-birth of a nation)
Out With The Old
my life as china
from The Lost Letters of Frederick Douglass
mesostics from the american grammar book
statistical haiku (or, how do they discount us? let me count the ways)
good night women (or, defying the carcinogenic pen)
her tin skin
pink-think (a primer for girls of other colors)
clare's song
a sonnet for stanley tookie williams
in a non-subjunctive mood
where's carolina?
x marks the spot
received in spring
the defense of marriage act, alternatives to
him/body/meant, her/body/meant
where you are planted
a background in music
ode to my blackness
The Cold
to see the minus
love life, with stitches
never after
a matter of balance
on new year's eve
the cold
Out With the New
owed to shirley chisholm
bop for presidential politics, c. 2008
getting around utopia
you can't deny it
duck, duck, redux
because there should be love
improper(ty) behavior
at the musee de l'homme
a question of survival
soundtrack for a generational shift
her table mountain
notes to my nieces (or, essays in fortune-telling)
coming of age
go-go tarot
quiet as it's kept
tonight i saw
salty (extended play)
(mis)takes one to know one
The Fare-Well Letters
the fare-well letters
dear ace bandage
dear cuddly dharma
dear existential fallacy
dear gift horse
dear ink jet
dear kerosene lamp
dear mid-afternoon nap
dear opaque policy
dear quaalude residue
dear safety test
dear untimely violet
dear white xmas
dear yesterday's zero
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