The new black

The new black

by Evie Shockley
     
 

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Smart, grounded, and lyrical, Evie Shockley’s the new black integrates powerful ideas about “blackness,” past and present, through the medium of beautifully crafted verse. the new black sees our racial past inevitably shaping our contemporary moment, but struggles to remember and reckon with the impact of generational shifts: what seemed

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Overview

Smart, grounded, and lyrical, Evie Shockley’s the new black integrates powerful ideas about “blackness,” past and present, through the medium of beautifully crafted verse. the new black sees our racial past inevitably shaping our contemporary moment, but struggles to remember and reckon with the impact of generational shifts: what seemed impossible to people not many years ago—for example, the election of an African American president—will have always been a part of the world of children born in the new millennium. All of the poems here, whether sonnet, mesostic, or deconstructed blues, exhibit a formal flair. They speak to the changes we have experienced as a society in the last few decades—changes that often challenge our past strategies for resisting racism and, for African Americans, ways of relating to one another. The poems embrace a formal ambiguity that echoes the uncertainty these shifts produce, while reveling in language play that enables readers to “laugh to keep from crying.” They move through nostalgia, even as they insist on being alive to the present and point longingly towards possible futures. Check for the online reader’s companion at http://http://thenewblack.site.wesleyan.edu.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Shockley’s work incorporates elements of myth without being patently ‘mythical’ and is personal without being self-indulgent, sentimental without being saccharine. … Highly recommended to readers of cultural studies as well as poetry and for library collections of all types and sizes."—Chris Pusateri, Library Journal

“the new black doesn’t need the likes of me to explain or sell it: it shouts, with glee and a kind of genius, its own achievement.”—Ray MacDaniel, The Constant Critic

"In urgent, energized poetry that escapes across the page, Shockley manages grand, in-your-face emotion without ostentation, exploring the African American experience finally to arrive at an understanding of “the new black”—both personal and poetic."—Library Journal, Best Poetry, 2011

“Evie Shockley is a commanding young poet who asks us to feel, asks us to think, and she ends her book at the peak of its tension, ‘new rules,’ new black, new game.”—Richard Silberg, Poetry Flash

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780819572875
Publisher:
Wesleyan University Press
Publication date:
01/25/2012
Series:
Wesleyan Poetry Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
750,963
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.40(d)

What People are saying about this

Claudia Rankine
“Evie Shockley’s the new black is our contemporary passage through a mosaic of historical and literary constructions. This stunning collection remembers all that has moved through the black body to bring us into the 21st century; and not since Jean Toomer’s Cane has the black female body in particular been portrayed with such compassion and love. This formally inventive work makes signifyin' its casting call, as Shockley becomes the master “composer of genealogies.”
Terrance Hayes
“In these remarkable new poems Evie Shockley seems to step to us wearing an alluring silk gown and steel-toe guerilla boots! She possesses that rare combination of grace and subversiveness. As a poem like ‘x marks the spot’ demonstrates, she elegantly wrestles with/against staid notions of culture, identity and influence. Her synthesis of poetic styles (the sonnet, the epistle, the tarot, the diagram) produces a poetry that is recognizable and strange, engaging and revolutionary. the new black is a book of stunning urgency and invention.”

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Meet the Author

EVIE SHOCKLEY is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University and the author of a half-red sea, the chapbook The Gorgon Goddess, and Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry.

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