The new black

The new black

by Evie Shockley

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Overview

Winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award (2012)

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. Check for the online reader's companion at http://http://thenewblack.site.wesleyan.edu.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780819572875
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Publication date: 01/25/2012
Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 510,166
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

EVIE SHOCKLEY is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University and the author of a half-red sea, the chapbook The Gorgon Goddess, and Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry.

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 celestial 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 dependencies 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 riven 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 womanish duck, duck, redux because there should be love improper(ty) behavior at the musée de l'homme a question of survival soundtrack for a generational shift revisiting 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)
explosives
(mis)takes one to know one post-white
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
Notes
Acknowledgments

What People are Saying About This

Claudia Rankine

“Evie Shockley’s the new black is our contemporary passage through a mosaic of historical and literary constructions. This stunning collection remembers all that has moved through the black body to bring us into the 21st century; and not since Jean Toomer’s Cane has the black female body in particular been portrayed with such compassion and love. This formally inventive work makes signifyin' its casting call, as Shockley becomes the master “composer of genealogies.”

From the Publisher

"Evie Shockley's the new black is our contemporary passage through a mosaic of historical and literary constructions. This stunning collection remembers all that has moved through the black body to bring us into the 21st century; and not since Jean Toomer's Cane has the black female body in particular been portrayed with such compassion and love. This formally inventive work makes signifyin' its casting call, as Shockley becomes the master "composer of genealogies."—Claudia Rankine, author of Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric

"In these remarkable new poems Evie Shockley seems to step to us wearing an alluring silk gown and steel-toe guerilla boots! She possesses that rare combination of grace and subversiveness. As a poem like 'x marks the spot' demonstrates, she elegantly wrestles with/against staid notions of culture, identity and influence. Her synthesis of poetic styles (the sonnet, the epistle, the tarot, the diagram) produces a poetry that is recognizable and strange, engaging and revolutionary. the new black is a book of stunning urgency and invention."—Terrance Hayes, author of Lighthead

Terrance Hayes

“In these remarkable new poems Evie Shockley seems to step to us wearing an alluring silk gown and steel-toe guerilla boots! She possesses that rare combination of grace and subversiveness. As a poem like ‘x marks the spot’ demonstrates, she elegantly wrestles with/against staid notions of culture, identity and influence. Her synthesis of poetic styles (the sonnet, the epistle, the tarot, the diagram) produces a poetry that is recognizable and strange, engaging and revolutionary. the new black is a book of stunning urgency and invention.”

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