On the Imperial Highway: New and Selected Poems

Overview


Poetry. African American Studies. Jayne Cortez is the author of eleven books of poetry and performer of her poems with music on nine recordings. Her voice is celebrated for its political, surrealistic, dynamic innovations in lyricism, and visceral sound. Cortez has presented her work and ideas at universities, museums, and festivals around the world. "Cortez has been and continues to be an explorer, probing the valleys and chasms of human existence. No ravine is too perilous, no abyss too threatening for Jayne ...
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Overview


Poetry. African American Studies. Jayne Cortez is the author of eleven books of poetry and performer of her poems with music on nine recordings. Her voice is celebrated for its political, surrealistic, dynamic innovations in lyricism, and visceral sound. Cortez has presented her work and ideas at universities, museums, and festivals around the world. "Cortez has been and continues to be an explorer, probing the valleys and chasms of human existence. No ravine is too perilous, no abyss too threatening for Jayne Cortez"--Maya Angelou. "If you haven't read Jayne Cortez, you're missing some of the best that life has to offer. A compellingly original voice of fire and freedom"--Franklin Rosemont. "Jayne Cortez's poems are filled with images that most of us are afraid to see"--Walter Mosley.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Black arts movement creator of poetry/jazz collaborations Cortez offers a selection of work published from 1974 to the present. Using rhythmic repetition to beat out a message of ludicrous horror, these poems blend nightmare and an earthy engagement: they kiss the mud of this moment. In "Rape," the poet makes a case for self-defense by ice pick: "What was Inez supposed to do for/ the man who declared war on her body/ the man who carved a combat zone between her breasts/ Was she supposed to lick crabs from his hairy ass/ kiss every pimple on his butt/ blow hot breath on his big toe?" More reflectively, Cortez riffs on the anxiety of influence: "But every time I hear from Langston/ He has too many demands/ I mean Langston always/ Wants you to talk about rivers/ Wants you to be a Revolutionary/ Speak in the voice of the people/ Dance on some crystal stairs." An important choice for poetry readers, who may also be interested in Cortez's sound recordings of some of these works.
—Ellen Kaufman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931236904
  • Publisher: Hanging Loose Press
  • Publication date: 2/24/2009
  • Pages: 131
  • Sales rank: 859,282
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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