Magic City / Edition 1

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Komunyakaa vividly evokes his childhood in Bogalusa, Louisiana, once a center of Klan activity, and later a focus of Civil Rights efforts. He portrays a child’s dawning awareness of the natural and social order around him, rhythms of life in the community, the constant struggle for survival in the face of poverty and racism, the adolescent’s awakening sexuality, the beginnings of the poet’s awareness of his life and community as it exists in the context of history, and his emerging understanding of his own identity.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
"His finest book to date-the most ambitious, the richest in writing and psychological drama, the most emotionally and intellectually demanding. It feels as though he has raised this book out of the darkest regions of his art and life"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819512086
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 10/9/1992
  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 68
  • Sales rank: 1,478,752
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 0.22 (d)

Meet the Author

YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA is a professor in the creative writing department at New York University. He has won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and many other awards for poetic achievement, including the 2001 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the 2004 Shelley Memorial Award, the Hanes Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the Levinson Prize from Poetry Magazine, and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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Table of Contents

Venus's-flytraps 1
The Whistle 3
Playthings 6
Yellow Dog Cafe 10
Happiness 12
Seasons Between Yes & No 14
Glory 15
April's Anarchy 16
The Millpond 17
Immolatus 19
Banking Potatoes 20
The Smokehouse 21
Tbe Steel Plate 22
Sunday Afternoons 24
Looking for Choctaw 25
Fleshing-out the Season 26
Blackberries 27
Yellowjackets 28
Gristmill 29
History Lessons 30
Temples of Smoke 32
Boys in Dresses 33
Nude Tango 35
Touch 36
Sugar 37
Albino 38
Halloween, the Late Fifties 40
Mismatched Shoes 42
My Father's Love Letters 43
The Cooling Board 44
Omen 45
Believing in Iron 46
Salome 47
Between Angels & Monsters 48
Poetics of Paperwood 50
Slam, Dunk, & Hook 51
Sex, Magnolias, & Speed 53
Knights of the White Camellia & Deacons of Defense 54
Nocturne 55
Butterfly-Toed Shoes 56
Acknowledgments 59
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