The Haunting: Dorianne Laux and Cornelius Eady

After reading Dorianne Laux’s Smoke and Cornelius Eady’s Brutal Imagination, some things have been affirmed for me: that the dead do haunt the living, and in various forms. In these two collections, what haunts is the ghost of “a girl in a cotton slip” who sits “beneath the staircase/ built from hair and bone[1]”; it’s […]

Stephen Dobyns: The Great (Allusion)ist

Editor’s note: I’m currently a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) candidate in the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine. Below is a look at one of my favorite poets, Stephen Dobyns, and his use of voice in his collections Black Dog, Red Dog and Cemetery Nights. If Black Dog, Red Dog and Cemetery […]

The Journey for the Unseen Beauty

Editor’s note: The essay below is in response to the What Book Changed Your Life Contest by Marita Golden. Winners receive an autographed copy of Marita Golden’s newest book THE WORD: Black Writers Talk About the Transformative Power of Reading and Writing. Submission deadline: February 5, 2011. Click here for more contest info. When Shake […]

Truth Thomas’s “Bottle of Life”

It’s “…the language of collard greens and black-eyed peas seasoned with fatback and Big Mama’s sweet tea” was how one writer put it in a blurb. Another writer called its contents “…intoxicatingly sweet, sharp, with a dash of bitter, good for the soul’s health.” A third one noted the poet finds “heaven in his Mama’s […]