Charles Fort's books include We Did Not Fear the Father: New and Selected Poems (Red Hen Press, 2012), MRS. BELLADONNA'S SUPPER CLUB WALTZ (The Backwaters Press, 2013), and The Town Clock Burning (Carnegie Mellon University Press, Classic Contemporary Series). Fort's poems have appeared in such journals, periodicals, and anthologies as The Best American Poetry 2003, The Best American Poetry 2000, Best of Prose Poem International, and The American Poetry Review. He is the founder of the Wendy Fort Foundation Theater of the Arts. A past MacDowell fellow, Fort is currently at work on a novel: The Last Black Hippie in Connecticut.
Mrs. Belladonna's Supper Club Waltzby Charles Fort
Poetry. African American Studies. "MRS. BELLADONNA'S SUPPER CLUB WALTZ contains work that is a rarity in American literature: a trilogy of prose poems. Charles Fort explores the Other through the use of an elaborate persona. 'Darvil,' he notes, is a 'composite of devil and evil,' but he gives him a noble lineage: 'direct descendent of Leo Africanus.' In
Poetry. African American Studies. "MRS. BELLADONNA'S SUPPER CLUB WALTZ contains work that is a rarity in American literature: a trilogy of prose poems. Charles Fort explores the Other through the use of an elaborate persona. 'Darvil,' he notes, is a 'composite of devil and evil,' but he gives him a noble lineage: 'direct descendent of Leo Africanus.' In deconstructing the great patchwork quilt that is American culture, Fort undermines any notion of the Other while understanding all too well the reality of it. His poems are jazzy riffs through Fourth of July bombast, Native American lore, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, and the detritus of a post-war materialism. And his comedy is Swiftian; he is most brutally funny when he is angriest."—Donald Soucy
"Charles Fort rises above the regional and the racial to where true freedom resides—in the core of the imagination."—ET Malone, Jr.
Fort's two previous books in the trilogy appeared in 1993 and 2001: Darvil, and Frankenstein Was A Negro. One can hear the webbed footsteps of Darvil on the streets of Paris close behind the broken walking sticks thrown down by Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Verlaine. The Darvil Nightmares may end.
- The Backwaters Press
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Mostly new to me, though with a few old and welcome friends, these poems are perfect examples of what I love about prose poems. So easily approachable in how laid back they seem in form, you don't easily notice the complexity that can be there. They just lay down the line at the same time that they deliver intense evocation, amazing images, and a heated current of pleasure that's almost physical. Spoken music, wonderful poems.