American Diaspora: Poetry of Displacement

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"We fell in love with both the word and the idea of diaspora because it has a raspiness to it," write editors Virgil Su rez (In the Republic of Longing) and Ryan G. Van Cleave (Say Hello) in introducing American Diaspora: Poetry of Displacement. In 130 narratives, poets better- (Toi Derricotte, Albert Goldbarth, Sherod Santos, Brenda Hillman) and lesser-known "seek the way home." ( May) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
The very concept of this collection, clearly implied in the title, is a resonant idea and traditional theme of artists, providing a wealth of material from which Suarez and Van Cleave have made varied yet focused selections. With 336 pages of poetry, American Diaspora gathers the works of 129 poets, ranging from the well known such as Sherman Alexie and Walter McDonald to the excellent work of less popular writers representing a wide variety of poetic styles and techniques. The first section of the book, "Dislocations," powerfully presents the loss, the disassociation accompanying emigration. Ana Doina asks, "Home? Somewhere we belong? The metaphor/ which includes us in its landscape? The place/ that always takes us in,.../ There is no homeland. Not anymore, not anywhere." And in the middle third of the book, entitled "American Journeys," Stephen Corey states, "Everywhere I turn I find homes:/ Nests and burrows, sheltered corners,/ pockholes in sand, knotholes in trees./ I came here to learn,/ But there are days when learning means nothing." And though the associations can never be forgotten or replaced, Margot Schilpp sums up both the hope and task of America's constant remaking of itself in the book's final section, "Invocations." "Begin again if you must: there are ways/ to make up for what you have been before,/ the dust in the corners that collects you." The sensitive insight and exceptional craftsmanship reflected in these works is reason enough to buy this book. But perhaps it is the current tragic times and circumstances that make it especially poignant and important, a view that needs to be constantly reexamined in these demanding days. Category: Poetry. KLIATT Codes:SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2001, Univ. of Iowa Press, 365p. index., Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: James Beschta; English Teacher, Quabbin Reg. H.S., Barre, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877457473
  • Publisher: University of Iowa Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 366
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Editors' Note
Dialect 3
China Camp, California 5
Passports 7
Generations 10
The Years 12
In the Chips 13
Gallery 15
The Letter 17
Exile 18
Diasporadic 21
On Forgettings 23
Flood Plain: The Right-of-Way 25
And Wake Up Where? 27
Political or Not, Here Comes that Poem 29
Changing the Name to Ochester 31
Jose Canseco Breks Our Hearts Again 35
Poem for Pancho Gonzales 36
Running to America 37
City of Angels 38
The Emigrant 39
Willie and the Train 40
Distance 41
Mi Vida: Wings of Fright 42
Thieves of Light 43
Come to Find Out 46
Poem for a Vietnamese Student 48
Variations for Hendrix and Vietnam 49
At the Bar 51
Years of Exile 54
California 56
Still Kicking in America 58
Persona 59
Farragut North 61
In the Twilight Zone All I Know Is the Commercials 62
Dust and Broughtonia 64
Two Sounds 65
Under the Freeway in El Paso 66
Todorov at Ellis Island 68
Dixie 69
The Extinct Homeland - A Conversation with Czeslaw Milosz 75
13th Arrondissement Blues 78
La Lupe 80
Rafael Hernandez 83
To Be Sung on the Fourth of July 86
New York Public Library 89
Public School No. 18, Paterson, New Jersey 91
Whereabouts 93
Reading Kerouac, Yorkshire 95
King of Wounds 96
Easter, Circa 1960 98
Salt Longing 99
History Class 100
Death of a War Hero 104
Mercy and the Brazos River 108
Inventory 110
The Pallor of Survival 112
Colors of a Free Life 114
Guide to the Tokyo Subway 116
Letter to Mirta Yanez 120
Coral Way, Near the Roads 122
The Refugee 123
Homecoming 127
From the Book of Lamentations 128
Loose Sugar 129
Red Fingernails 130
Phonograph 131
My Father Learns to Speak (Again) 133
The Cloud of Unknowing 135
Exile 137
Digging Up Peonies 138
Book of Ruth 140
Coaching My Father on His Temporarily Moving into My Old Bedroom 142
Love Penned Red 143
Lost and Found 144
Wind-Chill Factor 145
Waiting on Family Court 147
Jew's Harp 148
For Borscht 149
Yes 151
The Star-Spangled Banner 153
Translating My Parents 156
Arturo 158
Lenox Hill 160
My Father Recounts a Story from His Youth 163
Jasmine 166
Dislocation 169
How to Look West from Mount Pleasant, Utah 172
Heat Wave: Liberty, Missouri 175
You, If No One Else 178
A Note on My Son's Face 180
Photo, 1945 183
Auger 185
Ghost Passenger, Day and Night 187
Thoreau 189
The Minks 190
Postcards from Florida 192
Vanity of the Atlantic Ocean 194
For the Old Rider at the Mall in Sioux Falls 196
Mexican 198
To the Bougainvillaea 201
The Patriot 202
In Heavy Fog Outside Bishopville, South Carolina 203
Underwater 204
Cross-Cultural Generes 205
Seizure 206
Shoyn Fergessin: "I've Forgotten" in Yiddish 207
Prodigal 208
Barbie, Madame Alexander, Bronislawa Wajs 210
American Suite for a Lost Daughter 213
Scoured 216
The Estrangement of Luis Morone 217
For the Sake of Tiger Lilies 219
Lamentation Canzone 220
On Being Told I Don't Speak Like a Black Person 224
El Balserito 227
Ninety-one in the Shade 228
35-mm Clips 233
The End of Soup Kitchens 235
Poem at an Unmarked Grave 237
Portrait of a Couple at Century's End 238
Towns 240
Four Clouds Like the Irish in Memory 242
A Northern Darkness 243
Absence 247
For Someone Considering Death 249
Dwarf with Violin, Government Center Station 250
Postcards to Columbus 251
Postmodernism 252
Survivor's Song 253
Credo 254
Questions for Ecclesiastes 255
No Living in Parked Vehicles 258
Soul 259
Seven & Seven 261
Breaking and Entering 262
Joint Venture 263
Manifesto 265
How the Streets in Front of Kaufmann's Department Store Tell Me I Am Home 267
A Change of Place 269
Nod 270
Dark Songs: Slave House and Synagogue 272
July 4th 281
Internal Exile 285
Bodwin's Madmen 286
Autobiography 287
Confession 291
Ang Tunay Na Lalaki Stalks the Streets of New York 293
Mask 295
The Reappeared 297
In California 298
East River Prison Barge 300
The Sirens of Los Angeles 301
Beach Rogue 303
Plus Shipping 304
David's Rumor 306
Big Thicket Requiem 310
Rural Particles 315
Symmetry 316
Teshuvah 317
Max Beckmann & Quappi in Blue 318
Green Ash, Red Maple, Black Gum 321
Comcomly's Skull 322
Looking for Level Green 324
Two Uncertainties 325
What Hurts 326
Moment 327
Walking Back 328
A Flock of Phantom Limbs Gather at the Border 329
Elegy Written on a Blue Cement Gravestone (To You, the Archeologist) 331
Poem from Across the Country 333
Miami 335
How It Begins - How It Ends 336
Contributors' Notes 337
Permissions 357
Index 365
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