M-A-C-N-O-L-I-Aby A. Van Jordan
A true story lies behind this haunting collection. In 1936, MacNolia Cox won the Akron District Spelling Bee, and at the age of thirteen she became the first African American to reach the final round of the national competition. The Southern judges, it is thought, kept her from winning by presenting a word not on the official list. The word that tripped MacNolia, ironically, was nemesis. Though she had been an A student and had dreams of being a doctor, MacNolia left school, married, and worked as a domestic in the home of a physician -- "They say she / Spelled like a demon ... / She's the best damn maid in town." Cinematic throughout, with the sounds of blues and jazz in the background, the collection opens with MacNolia's actual obituary. Persona poems then delineate a marriage and explore the worlds of love, work, and music. M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A is a poignant commentary on one life and on the social and racial attitudes of the Depression thirties.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.72(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.66(d)
Meet the Author
A. Van Jordan is the author of Rise, published by Tia Chucha Press, 2001, which won the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award and selected for the Book of the Month Club from the Academy of American Poets. His second book, M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A, published by W.W. Norton & Co, 2004, was awarded an Anisfield-Wolf Award and listed as one the Best Books of 2005 by The London Times (TLS). Jordan was also awarded a Whiting Writers Award in 2005 and a Pushcart Prize in 2006, 30th Edition. Quantum Lyrics was published July 2007 by W.W. Norton & Co. He is a recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 2007, and a United States Artists Williams Fellowship, 2008. He is a Professor in the Dept. of English at the University of Michigan.
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