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Blood

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Overview


Poetry. African American Studies. "Probably the real story of race in the United States (like all real stories) can only be written by a poet. And Shane McCrae has done it. BLOOD is an epic that spans three centuries. BLOOD is so formally innovative that you don't quite understand how it achieves its effects. BLOOD is so utterly clear it makes you cry. BLOOD is almost impossibly empathetic. Moving from sequences based on slave narratives and Federal Writers Project oral histories to monologues by white racists ...
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Overview


Poetry. African American Studies. "Probably the real story of race in the United States (like all real stories) can only be written by a poet. And Shane McCrae has done it. BLOOD is an epic that spans three centuries. BLOOD is so formally innovative that you don't quite understand how it achieves its effects. BLOOD is so utterly clear it makes you cry. BLOOD is almost impossibly empathetic. Moving from sequences based on slave narratives and Federal Writers Project oral histories to monologues by white racists to autobiography and the poet's family history, BLOOD is beautiful and significant, subtle and blunt. It asks to be read and reread. We need this book."—Kathleen Ossip
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 08/26/2013
McCrae’s second collection is a stunning lyric exegesis of blood, showing the blood in our bodies to be a text that inscribes the self with its legacy, life force, violence, and death. Bracketed by accounts of a slave uprising, the collection begins with the impaled heads of insurgents, “The white men recognized them mounted them/ to make the air/ Rotten and come from them/ Rotten/ the meat in their necks hanging down/ Like ivy on the gates of heaven,” and ends with the knowledge that “…you kill a man you can’t// murder him forever/ not even for that stretch of forever/ white folks own.” Throughout, McCrae draws on historical works, both primary accounts and scholarly texts, moving from an acutely brutal and keenly empathetic series of poems in the voice of a slave who has attempted escape with her family, to poems based on ex-slaves’ narratives and accounts of lynching and the voices of white racists. McCrae’s poetic line engages document and testimony with remarkable urgency and empathy while materializing the rift and trauma embedded in these histories. The collection makes its final shift into autobiography in a set of poems addressed to an estranged brother. As the poet’s gaze turns inward, the sense of selfhood seems to reach necessarily beyond the individual: “Our bodies we is always walking leaking/ like a ghost can’t be a body in one place.” (August)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934819302
  • Publisher: Noemi Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2013
  • Pages: 94
  • Sales rank: 799,037
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Shane McCrae is the author of FORGIVENESS FORGIVENESS (Factory Hollow Press, 2014), NONFICTION (Black Lawrence Press, 2014), BLOOD (Noemi Press, 2013), and MULE (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2010), and the chapbooks IN CANAAN (Rescue Press, 2011) and One Neither One (Octopus Books, 2009). He has received a Whiting Writing's Award and a fellowship from the NEA. He teaches at Oberlin College and in the brief-residency MFA program at Spalding University.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 24, 2014

    If Nat Turner wrote poems, this is what it would sound like. &qu

    If Nat Turner wrote poems, this is what it would sound like. "Blood" is the revolutionist's bible! Shane McCrae dares us to love our flaws and the work ahead; how much we have yet to do to love each other as Americans, what violent planet we grew and how tired we're going to have to be to see a change. Both on the page and in content, "Blood" takes many risks. Some moments, I didn't like myself, humanity, or life itself. Other moments brought me hope for the literary world. True talented writing doesn't get enough praise these days. 
         I suggest reading this book OUT LOUD. It will help with the language. Reading this book quietly to oneself could prove frustrating. I think Mr. McCrae dares the reader to dive into the words, lines, content as opposed to focusing too long on line breaks and/or enjambment (though the fresh air of daring page technique was like spring after a blizzard). Any book with lines in the first poem like "And joy and something less than joy/kept us from washing out skin clean" and ends the last poem with "Who do I got to kill/to get all the way free/And it was    more people than it was/Alive in the world" deserves respect and admiration! 
         This is not only the first true voice of Nat Turner, but it's the cry of Trayvon Martine, Troy Davis, and too many other Black Americans that are tired. This is the reminder of James Baldwin's "The Fire Next Time". Ultimately, "Blood" is the words of the tired, the down-trodden. These poems are for every single mother in a nation with a war againt the womb. This is the scripture for Gay Rights activists. "Blood" is what the Bill of Rights was written for.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2013

    Awful. Confusing. Definitely wasn't fun to read. Had to read it

    Awful. Confusing. Definitely wasn't fun to read. Had to read it for an english class. If it wasnt for the class I wouldnt have read it. ever.

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