Big Towns, Big Talk

Overview

Life According to Motown, Patricia Smith's first book, told of the glittery deceptions of the Motown era and the difficulties of growing up under their sway. Big Towns, Big Talk takes a look at what happens after you've grown up.
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Overview

Life According to Motown, Patricia Smith's first book, told of the glittery deceptions of the Motown era and the difficulties of growing up under their sway. Big Towns, Big Talk takes a look at what happens after you've grown up.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Smith's second collection of poetry reflects upon relationships, street life, and worlds familiar and unfamiliar. In these glimmering poems, the language itself comes alive and touches the soul, demonstrating why Smith is a popular performance poet. She is a master at overlaying vivid scenes with compassionate concern: "He wades brown rivers,/ struggles against the flat faces of mountains,/ his traveling blues off-key and furious,/ sung out to the woman who shrivels in a wooden bed,/ wrapped in sheets bleached blue and bitter,/ the fever eating her alive,/ her heart twisted and cramped in its shrinking pocket." Reading Big Towns, Big Talk is like witnessing the blues tugging at the heart; it shows how we can obtain insight into the lives of everyday people. This fine collection is recommended for major poetry collections. - Lenard D. Moore, United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake Cty., N.C.

"This Woman is powerful." -- The Village Voice Literary Supplement

"A vigorous, impressive talent." -- Booklist

 "Patricia Smith's work is direct, colloquial, inclusive, adventuresome." -- Gwendolyn Brooks

"[These] poems sweat up the pages, caress the reader's eyes, set fire to the books they're printed in. Her language arcs in triumph, uniting tongue ear mind and eye. Words alive, bounce'n'jive -- there's a deep eloquence in the Soul and it's hers." -- Bob Holman 

Library Journal
Smith's second collection of poetry reflects upon relationships, street life, and worlds familiar and unfamiliar. In these glimmering poems, the language itself comes alive and touches the soul, demonstrating why Smith is a popular performance poet. She is a master at overlaying vivid scenes with compassionate concern: ``He wades brown rivers,/ struggles against the flat faces of mountains,/ his traveling blues off-key and furious,/ sung out to the woman who shrivels in a wooden bed,/ wrapped in sheets bleached blue and bitter,/ the fever eating her alive,/ her heart twisted and cramped in its shrinking pocket.'' Reading Big Towns, Big Talk is like witnessing the blues tugging at the heart; it shows how we can obtain insight into the lives of everyday people. This fine collection is recommended for major poetry collections.-- Lenard D. Moore, United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake Cty., N.C.
Booknews
Poems that meld popular "street" themes with powerful underlying emotional tension, from the five-time winner of Chicago's Uptown Poetry Slam. Published by Zoland Books, Inc., 384 Huron Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780944072240
  • Publisher: Steerforth Press
  • Publication date: 9/16/2002
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 1,226,892
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

A popular performance poet, Patricia Smith is the undefeated champion of Chicago's nationally famous Uptown Poetry Slam and frequently appears at such poetry venues as New York City's Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, TriQuarterly, The Nation, and Agni. Patricia Smith grew up in Chicago and now lives in Boston, where she is an arts critic for The Boston Globe.
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Table of Contents

I My Mama Done Told Me...
Annie Pearl Smith Discovers Moonlight 3
Trying On Wedding Gowns in Filene's Basement 6
If I Cannot Dance 8
Dylan, Two Days 10
Doctor Feelgood 12
That Third Drink 14
Dolls 15
Changing Partners 17
Speaking Out the Stars 20
Blonde White Women 21
Heartland 24
But Only Eye 27
What I Didn't Learn 29
Shaving 30
The Poetry Widow 32
The Lord Works Silvio's 33
II Big Towns, Big Talk
Doin' the Louvre 37
Biting Back 41
The Architect 43
Sweet Daddy 46
Instructions to a Poet Who Suspects His Own Mediocrity 49
Always in the Head 50
Medusa 53
After Green Mill, March 1988 56
Climbing to Erice 58
Nickel Wine and Deep Kisses 60
Pretending Sleep 63
Your Man 65
Skinhead 67
Big Towns, Big Talk 70
III The Word 77
IV Nobody's Blues But Mine
In the Ultimate Blues Bar 85
The Spinning Gone 88
Say, Can You See 90
Haunted Elvis Lamp Sings Burning Love 92
Olive Oyl Talks to People Magazine 94
Think It's That One 100
Pain Passing 102
Stop 104
Summer To Fall, Chicago 107
Chinese Cucumbers 109
Drumchild 112
On the Street Where She Lives 113
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