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Evie Shockley's a half-red sea
a half-red sea
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Evie gives an overview of the book:

“In a half-red sea, Evie Shockley is ‘dreaming the lives of the ancestors.’ Navigating against prevailing currents, these poems sail on eddy and backflow, taking inspiration from knots and twists of American history and culture. Whether improvising between the lines of a slave narrative in ‘henry bibb considers love and livery,’ amplifying Lady Day’s most devastating blues in ‘you can say that again, billie,’ or going freestyle with ‘double bop for ntozake shange,’ Shockley’s imagination travels every which away. Her gallery of lyric portraits presents a historical continuum of African Americans caught in double binds of culture and identity, from Crispus Attucks, Phillis Wheatley, Sally Hemmings, and Henry Bibb, to Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, and Anita Hill, along with engaging fictional characters such as Trula, Yellow Mary’s enigmatic companion in Julie Dash’s...
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“In a half-red sea, Evie Shockley is ‘dreaming the lives of the ancestors.’ Navigating against prevailing currents, these poems sail on eddy and backflow, taking inspiration from knots and twists of American history and culture. Whether improvising between the lines of a slave narrative in ‘henry bibb considers love and livery,’ amplifying Lady Day’s most devastating blues in ‘you can say that again, billie,’ or going freestyle with ‘double bop for ntozake shange,’ Shockley’s imagination travels every which away. Her gallery of lyric portraits presents a historical continuum of African Americans caught in double binds of culture and identity, from Crispus Attucks, Phillis Wheatley, Sally Hemmings, and Henry Bibb, to Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, and Anita Hill, along with engaging fictional characters such as Trula, Yellow Mary’s enigmatic companion in Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust. In ‘a thousand words’ and other reflections on contemporary events, Shockley’s firm grounding in history adds weight and depth to her observations of the recent past and present.”

—Harryette Mullen

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Note from the author coming soon...

About Evie

Evie Shockley is the author of two books of poetry, the new black (Wesleyan UP, 2011) and a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006), and two chapbooks, 31 words  *  prose poems (Belladonna* Books, 2007) and The Gorgon...

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Published Reviews

Jun.06.2008

In a half-red sea, Evie Shockley’s first full-length collection of poetry, the poet presents public and private histories through a series of narratives, lyrical monologues, fantastic episodes, and...

Aug.20.2009

"There is much to be admired in this collection of poems. In addition to the sonnet-ballad form, she employs the pantoum and the acrostic in very smooth and revealing ways. As well, Shockley’s Harryette...