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Outlandish Blues
Outlandish Blues
$15.95
Paperback
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BOOK DETAILS

Honorée gives an overview of the book:

        Fierce and sensual, the poems in Outlandish Blues merge everyday speech with a shimmering lyricism and burst from the page into song. Honorée Fanonne Jeffers sees the blues, what she terms the “shared ‘blue notes,’’’ as an important intersection between the secular and the divine, and between the various African American vernacular traditions, from spirituals to jazz. Part Nina Simone, part Bessie Smith, her poems are filled with a sweaty honesty, moving from the personal to the collective experience. This movement is often accomplished through the use of personae, concentrated here in a stunning series of poems on the Biblical figures of Hagar and Sarah. Whether about a contemporary domestic scene, a slave ship, or Aretha Franklin, these are poems that speak to the soul of experience.
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Fierce and sensual, the poems in Outlandish Blues merge everyday speech with a shimmering lyricism and burst from the page into song. Honorée Fanonne Jeffers sees the blues, what she terms the “shared ‘blue notes,’’’ as an important intersection between the secular and the divine, and between the various African American vernacular traditions, from spirituals to jazz. Part Nina Simone, part Bessie Smith, her poems are filled with a sweaty honesty, moving from the personal to the collective experience. This movement is often accomplished through the use of personae, concentrated here in a stunning series of poems on the Biblical figures of Hagar and Sarah. Whether about a contemporary domestic scene, a slave ship, or Aretha Franklin, these are poems that speak to the soul of experience.

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I want to teach you the pigmeat
story this evening. I’m an angel
stabbed by the point I dance on.

I need the sanctified blues.
I need the hallelujah nasty.
Take me there.
I don’t care where we go.

—from “Fast Skirt Blues”

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Note from the author coming soon...

About Honorée

I'm the author of three books of poetry : The Gospel of Barbecue (Kent State, 2000), which was chosen by Lucille Clifton for the 1999 Wick Poetry Prize; Outlandish Blues (Wesleyan, 2000); and Red Clay Suite (Southern Illinois, 2007),...

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Author's Publishing Notes

Artfully distilled, Jeffers' musical and forthright lyrics cut to the chase in their depictions of self-destructive love, treacherous family life, and sexual passion turned oppressive or violent.--Booklist The poet works to confront the forces propelling us into such situations, spitting out her notes in a voice that at its best has breadth, power and ambivalence.--Publishers Weekly "Outlandish Blues is a book as wide-open-armed and as terrifying as the blues themselves. What violence and grief, and sweetness too! These poems will bring you to your knees with their tough, wild beauty.”—Maggie Anderson, author of Windfall: New and Selected Poems