The Ringing Ear

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-03-25
  • Publisher: Univ of Georgia Pr
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The South: to render all that it means to an African American takes someone with acutely tuned senses, someone with a patience, a passion even, for the region's history and contradictions. It takes a poet. In this new anthology, the first of its kind, more than one hundred contemporary black poets laugh at and cry about, pray for and curse, flee and return to--the South.Voices new to the scene appear inThe Ringing Earalongside some of the leading names in American literature today, including Sonia Sanchez, Yusef Komunyakaa, Harryette Mullen, Nikki Giovanni, Kevin Young, Cornelius Eady, and Al Young. The southern worlds opened up by these poets are echoed in how their poems are grouped, under headings like "Music, Food, and Work: Heeding the Lamentation and Roar of Things Made by Hand," or "Religion and Nature: The Lord Looks Out for Babies and Fools," or "Love, Flesh, and Family: The Hush and Holler Portraits.""Not all of us on these pages have come to or from the South by the same dirt road," says anthology editor Nikky Finney. "We have not chosen our dark olive words from the same patch of earth. Some have come by way of birth and others have followed street musicians and urban corner preachers, dream and myth, to stand before its pine and iron gates."

Author Biography

Nikky Finney is a professor of creative writing at the University of Kentucky and the author of three collections of poetry: On Wings Made of Gauze; Rice, which won a PEN America Open Book Award; and The World Is Round. She is also the author of Heartwood, a collection of short stories. Cave Canem is a national nonprofit organization committed to the discovery and cultivation of new voices in African American poetry. From its beginning in 1996, Cave Canem has offered a safe haven for black poets-whether schooled in MFA programs or poetry slams-to come together to work on their craft and engage others in critical debate. Go to www.cavecanempoets.org to learn more.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Heirlooms and Introductionsp. xix
Music, Food, and Work: Heeding the Lamentation and Roar of Things Made by Hand
"Dirty Rice"p. 3
"Rabbit"p. 4
"Time with Stevie Wonder in It"p. 6
"Night Shift/Day Shift"p. 9
"Don't Know What Love Is"p. 11
"Joe Chappel's Foot Log Bottom Blues, 1952"p. 12
"Glutton"p. 14
"Back in blues"p. 16
"Fish"p. 17
"Red onion hoodoo"p. 19
"Night Work"p. 21
"Doing Hair"p. 23
"Simmie Knox Paints Bill Clinton for the White House"p. 25
"The Boucherie"p. 27
"Catfish"p. 28
"Miss Look's Dream (Miss Look)"p. 32
"The Migrants"p. 34
"The Whistle"p. 35
"Red Blessings"p. 38
"At the Owl Club, North Gulfport, Mississippi, 1950"p. 41
"Pea Song"p. 43
"Intermittent Requiems for Bud"p. 44
"Witness"p. 46
"The Spice of Life"p. 47
"The Quilter"p. 48
"Sound and Semblance"p. 49
"Cookout"p. 52
"Watermelon Repast"p. 54
"Pot Meals"p. 55
"I know the grandmother one had hands"p. 57
"Smoke"p. 59
"Middle Ear"p. 61
Swimming, Childhood, and Other Thunders: Don't Get Your Hot Hair Wet or Your Good Shoes Dirty
"How to Teach Them"p. 65
"Immolatus"p. 68
"Nikki-Rosa"p. 70
"Lessons in Trailer Living"p. 72
"Hair Raising"p. 73
"1957"p. 74
"Manhood"p. 76
"What she will remember"p. 78
"Splinter of the Path"p. 79
"Fusion"p. 81
"On the first drive-by"p. 83
"Mama Gertie Bell Speaks to Her Granddaughter"p. 84
"My Best Day"p. 85
"Nicknames"p. 86
"Journeyman"p. 90
"Buckwheat's Lament"p. 91
"Bull"p. 92
"How to Make It"p. 94
"Key west"p. 97
"Eads Bridge Boogie Across the Mississippi"p. 99
"History Makes Concessions for White Boys"p. 100
"Black Hymnal"p. 102
"The Dry Spell"p. 104
"Spectaculations"p. 106
"Ghazai for My Mother"p. 108
Religion and Nature: The Lord Looks Out for Babies and Fools; The Anvil of Heaven Murmuring
"Sunday"p. 111
"How to Make Rain"p. 112
"The Tire Plant Is Struck by Lightning"p. 114
"Baptism"p. 115
"St. Philip Blues"p. 117
"Quarter Moon Rise"p. 119
"Israelites"p. 120
"Picnic"p. 121
"Lightning bug reflects"p. 123
"The Reason I Know the Devil Is Mean"p. 124
"Nat Turner in the Clearing"p. 125
"Prelude to a new plague"p. 126
"Speaking in Tongues"p. 127
"My Mother's Tornado"p. 129
"Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow Me"p. 130
"Goldsboro Narrative #20"p. 131
"Storm Named Earl"p. 133
His and Her Story: The Myth and Rumble of Memory under the Hammer of Jeopardy
"Harriet Tubman's Email 2 Master"p. 139
"Seven crown man"p. 140
"Reward"p. 142
"The Politics of Breathing"p. 144
"We Are Not Responsible"p. 145
"The Good Funeral"p. 146
"My Heart"p. 148
"Hands, 1921"p. 149
"Drapery Factory, Gulfport, Mississippi, 1956"p. 152
"Barking"p. 278
"In a place where"p. 279
"Garden"p. 281
"O'Connor's South"p. 284
"Bliss: geophagy"p. 286
"Bowing in the Church of Beauty"p. 287
"Awake"p. 288
"In my neighborhood just north of atlanta"p. 289
"Milledgeville Haibun"p. 290
"Fifth Street Exit, Richmond"p. 291
"Summer Night, McNasby's Pier, 1968"p. 295
"Duke"p. 297
"Of Course the Brochure Doesn't Mention Mrs. Abbott"p. 300
"Knoxville, Tennessee"p. 303
"Between Angels & Monsters"p. 304
"On Passing thru Morgantown"p. 306
"Song of the South"p. 307
"Our Natures Rise"p. 309
"Home (Running Man)"p. 310
"Landscape Mode"p. 313
"True Autumn"p. 314
"Driving South"p. 316
"I Love It When You Call Me Big Country"p. 317
The Twenty-first-Century Southern Riff and Shout: Modern Lullabies for Planet Octavia
"Ectopia"p. 321
"Graphs: Photos from a Traveler"p. 322
"Residual"p. 325
"I Have Walked a Long Time"p. 326
"Saturday & a glimpse of sunday"p. 328
"Haiku 142005"p. 330
"Community day"p. 331
"Afronauts"p. 334
"We Real Crunk"p. 336
"Diovan HCT 160MG"p. 337
"Three the Hard Way"p. 338
"Lawn Jockey"p. 344
"Poem For Amadou Diallo"p. 345
"Big Thicket: Pastoral"p. 346
"Dressing Down"p. 349
"Elegy for the Mad Brother @ Borders"p. 350
"Poem for June Jordan"p. 352
"Apathy no more"p. 354
"Gentleman"p. 356
"Eartha Takes the Old Woman Shopping for Red Shoes"p. 357
"One for Strom"p. 359
"Now"p. 360
Nikky Finney Interviews Lucille Cliftonp. 363
Creditsp. 379
Contributorsp. 385
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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