The Listening

The Listening

4.0 1
by Kyle Dargan
     
 

Kyle Dargan's debut collection of poetry, The Listening, searches through the cluttered surface of contemporary life to tune into the elemental sounds within the marrow of living/life. Throughout the collection, Dargan interweaves elements of his heritage with the present day—jazz influences blend with hip-hop; neoslave narratives run parallel with the

…  See more details below

Overview

Kyle Dargan's debut collection of poetry, The Listening, searches through the cluttered surface of contemporary life to tune into the elemental sounds within the marrow of living/life. Throughout the collection, Dargan interweaves elements of his heritage with the present day—jazz influences blend with hip-hop; neoslave narratives run parallel with the intimate tale of civil rights leaders; post-9/11 America is juxtaposed with family portraits of the sixties and seventies—to reveal the continuous, though ever changing, music of the world around us. Whether capturing the famous Ali-Frazier fight in Manila or a trip to the local barbershop, Muddy Waters or boyhood blacktop games, Dargan gives voice to the most poignant and fleeting aspects of our everyday existence. With singular incisiveness and vigor, these poems act simultaneously as psalms and elegies, praising life at the same time they lament its inevitable passing.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"What is this phat new thing in your hands? It's both antithetical and wide, wide open. It's right as mismatched sneakers: one foot stepping backward, the other forward. Kyle Dargan has built a shelter with the bricks of the best worlds. He's made a halfway house you won't be leaving soon. Settle in!"--Terrance Hayes, author of Hip Logic

"The intrepid, hybrid 'chronograffiti' of Kyle Dargan's The Listening bears the heft of its personal and cultural histories with linguistic inventiveness, humor, and lyric incandescence. Political in the best, most urgent sense, these poems unsettle and illuminate the city within man, inheriting and extending a conversation originating in mythic, primeval forests and articulated across generations into the apocalyptically postmodern, wetland urban sprawl of inner-city Newark and environs. In poems that are as artistically powerful as they are hiphopculturally arresting and savvy, Dargan makes in this 'reluctant collage' a crucial, humble, fierce music that I, for one, attend to with hope and joy."--Lisa Russ Spaar, author of Blue Venus: Poems

"Dargan shows a wide breadth of talent, from writing what he calls neo-slave narratives to heartbreaking pieces on his own family history. . . . Dargan uses wit and incisive observations to document race in America. Beneath it all are the rhythms and tensions of Newark, which infuse many of Dargan's poems."--Newark Star-Ledger

"The poems have a feel of sincerity . . . here is a poet who has thought about the relationships between subject and form; the rumination has paid off"--H-NGM-N

"A stunning debut . . . Dargan's poems are insightful, startling, articulate, and urgent."--Pam Kinsbury, Southern Scribe

"In The Listening: Poems, Kyle Dargan writes an attractive, melodic line that no one would mistake for prose. But his first loyalty—like that of his models, particularly the Black Arts Movement poets—is to the language people speak. That’s not to say his language isn’t stylized. It’s like a spoken shorthand, blending the creative elision of lyric poetry with the wit, brio and irony of black English and hip-hop slang. . . . The Listening is right; Dargan has a marvelous ear."--Eric McHenry, New York Times Book Review

"Kyle Dargan’s The Listening is a fascinating debut collection of poems that requires you to listen not only to its tales, but to their telling. Scattered with unpredictable internal rhymes and delightful turns of phrase, this book is a risky yet successful amalgamation of crisp diction, musical terminology, basketball lingo and urban slang that simultaneously melt and crunch in your mouth. . . . This book is smart but not pretentious, hip but not trendy, and we’re certain that these poems are lasting things.”--Samantha Thornhill, Meridian

"These rhythmic poems seem to leap off the page because of Dargan's vivid language, talent for alliteration, and frequent use of internal rhyme. . . . The poems within The Listening are musical and full of timbre, but they also resonate with deep meaning.”--Chelsea

author of Hip Logic - Terrance Hayes
What is this phat new thing in your hands? It's both antithetical and wide, wide open. It's right as mismatched sneakers: one foot stepping backward, the other forward. Kyle Dargan has built a shelter with the bricks of the best worlds. He's made a halfway house you won't be leaving soon. Settle in!

author of Blue Venus: Poems - Lisa Russ Spaar
The intrepid, hybrid 'chronograffiti' of Kyle Dargan's The Listening bears the heft of its personal and cultural histories with linguistic inventiveness, humor, and lyric incandescence. Political in the best, most urgent sense, these poems unsettle and illuminate the city within man, inheriting and extending a conversation originating in mythic, primeval forests and articulated across generations into the apocalyptically postmodern, wetland urban sprawl of inner-city Newark and environs. In poems that are as artistically powerful as they are hiphopculturally arresting and savvy, Dargan makes in this 'reluctant collage' a crucial, humble, fierce music that I, for one, attend to with hope and joy.

Newark Star-Ledger
Dargan shows a wide breadth of talent, from writing what he calls neo-slave narratives to heartbreaking pieces on his own family history. . . . Dargan uses wit and incisive observations to document race in America. Beneath it all are the rhythms and tensions of Newark, which infuse many of Dargan's poems.

H-NGM-N
The poems have a feel of sincerity . . . here is a poet who has thought about the relationships between subject and form; the rumination has paid off

Meridian - Samantha Thornhill
Kyle Dargan’s The Listening is a fascinating debut collection of poems that requires you to listen not only to its tales, but to their telling. Scattered with unpredictable internal rhymes and delightful turns of phrase, this book is a risky yet successful amalgamation of crisp diction, musical terminology, basketball lingo and urban slang that simultaneously melt and crunch in your mouth. . . . This book is smart but not pretentious, hip but not trendy, and we’re certain that these poems are lasting things.

New York Times Book Review - Eric McHenry
In The Listening: Poems, Kyle Dargan writes an attractive, melodic line that no one would mistake for prose. But his first loyalty—like that of his models, particularly the Black Arts Movement poets—is to the language people speak. That’s not to say his language isn’t stylized. It’s like a spoken shorthand, blending the creative elision of lyric poetry with the wit, brio and irony of black English and hip-hop slang. . . . The Listening is right; Dargan has a marvelous ear.

Southern Scribe - Pam Kinsbury
A stunning debut . . . Dargan's poems are insightful, startling, articulate, and urgent.

Chelsea
These rhythmic poems seem to leap off the page because of Dargan's vivid language, talent for alliteration, and frequent use of internal rhyme. . . . The poems within The Listening are musical and full of timbre, but they also resonate with deep meaning.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820326610
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Publication date:
09/20/2004
Series:
The Cave Canem Poetry Prize
Pages:
104
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 2.90(d)

Meet the Author

Kyle Dargan’s first book, The Listening, was awarded the Cave Canem Poetry Prize in 2003. He received his MFA as a Yusef Komunyakaa Fellow at Indiana University and is currently a Distinguished Adjunct in Residence on the creative writing faculty at American University. He is also managing editor of the journal Callaloo.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Listening 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Professor_Polymath More than 1 year ago
Kyle has nailed his first book with extreme knowledge of the current and past cultures. He has an ear for rhythm and an eye for emphasis. A complete wonder; I cannot wait to read the second book.