Second Set / Edition 1

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With The Jazz Poetry Anthology, this volume offers a comprehensive exploration of the history of jazz poetry. The Second Set gathers many poets omitted from The Jazz Poetry Anthology, including Gwendolyn Brooks, Arthur Brown, Diane di Prima, Henry Dumas, Nikki Giovanni, David Henderson, Anselm Hollo, Haki Madhubuti, Michael McClure, Larry Neal, Dudley Randall, Eugene B. Redmond, Carolyn M. Rodgers, Ntozake Shange, A. B. Spellman, and Jay Wright. The Second Set fills out the history of jazz poetry with poems written before World War II, as well as those from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, and includes contemporary writers from a range of cultural backgrounds, including Ai, Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Martín Espada, Joy Harjo, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Michael Longley, Mwatabu Okantah, Charles Simic, Lorenzo Thomas, Derek Walcott, Ron Welburn, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

Embracing a wide variety of poems informed by jazz, The Second Set also includes statements of poetics by many of the poets anthologized.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Bart Schneider
[T]he miraculous revival of jazz in the last decade ù after its near-death experience in the '70s and early '80s ù has given fresh life to jazz writing. Two very different new anthologies demonstrate, with mixed results, the range of writing about this music.

Robert Gottlieb's 1,000-plus page anthology, Reading Jazz, is a predictable mix of tribute essays, criticism and autobiographical excerpts by writers ranging from Jelly Roll Morton to Stanley Crouch. It's a bedside reader, basically, for older jazz fans who are unfazed by the steep sticker price and want a hit of atmosphere along with their oxygen. Although Gottlieb's miscellany purports to cover jazz "from 1919 to Now," its emphasis is weighted disproportionately toward way back when. The result, particularly in the autobiography section, with its preponderance of as-told-to-memoirs, is a gallery of musicians from the golden age, awash in nostalgia.

The Second Set is by far the more interesting anthology. The 110 poets collected here range from early 20th century masters (Hart Crane, e.e. cummings) to such essential contemporary poets as June Jordan, Derek Walcott and Mark Doty. Thomas McGrath's exquisitely surreal "Guiffre's Nightmusic" describes the clarinetist's harmonic landscape: "A scale-model city, unlighted, in a shelf/In the knee of the Madonna; a barbed wire fence/Strummed by the wind: dream-singing emblems." And Michael S. Harper leads readers along John Coltrane's voice, directly into his mouth. "I don't remember train whistles/or the corroding trestles of ice/seeping through the hangband,/vaulting northward in shining triplets,/but the feel of the reed on my tongue/haunts me even now, my incisors/pulled so the pain wouldn't lurk."

Nearly all writing about jazz is a testimony to magic, an attempt to honor and make palpable a musical epiphany. Poetry, because it is patterned on sound and driven by the improvisational leap, has a natural affinity with jazz, and the many fine poems in this collection demonstrate how the two can walk hand in hand. Editors Sascha Feinstein and Yusef Komunyakaa have brought care and vision to this volume. At the end of the book, a section of statements on jazz and poetics, by contributors, underscores the passionate link. "I cannot imagine a world without jazz," says poet Anselm Hollo, "be it hot or cool; it is one of the relatively few good reasons one has for enduring this century." --Salon Feb. 7, 1997

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253210685
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Series: Jazz Poetry Antholog Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

SASCHA FEINSTEIN teaches creative writing and literature at Lycoming College. He is the author of Jazz Poetry: From the 1920s to the Present and A Bibliographic Guide to Jazz Poetry. His poems and essays have appeared in Southern Review, New England Review, and North American Review. YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA, Professor of Creative Writing at Princeton University, has published nine books of poetry: Copacetic, I Apologize for the Eyes in My Head, Dien Cai Dau, Magic City, and Neon Vernacular (winner of the Pulitzer Prize).

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Selected Table of Contents
Ai - Archangel; The Man with the Saxophone
Samuel Allen - I Say, Mr. A.
Baron James Ashanti - Just Another Gig
Alvin Aubert - Bessie; Bessie Smith’s Funeral
Houston A. Baker, Jr. - Tobacco Warehouse Blues; Of Walter White’s Father in the Rain
Paul Beatty - Sitting on Other People’s Cars
John Berryman - Dream Song 68
Gwendolyn Brooks - Queen of the Blues; The Sundays of Satin-legs Smith; The Third Sermon on the Warpland
Arthur Brown - The Assassination of Charlie Parker; Callin Buddy Bolden
Christopher Buckley - Nostalgia; Playing for Time
Michael Castro - Blew It
Richard Cecil - Richard’s Blues
Karen Chase - What You Can’t See
Jane Cooper - Wanda’s Blues
Hart Crane - For the Marriage of Faustus and Helen
Stanley Crouch - The Revelation; Up On the Spoon
E. E. Cummings - [god pity me whom(god distinctly has)]
Thulani N. Davis - C. T. at the 5 Spot; C. T.’s Variation; Rogue & Jar
Diane Di Prima - I Ching; Notes on the Art of Memory
Mark Doty - Almost Blue
Rita Dove - Canary
Henry Dumas - Concentration Camp Blues; Listen to the Sound of My Horn
Dave Etter - Monk’s Dream; Stuffy Turkey; Well You Needn’t
Mari Evans - Boss Communication
Sarah Webster Fabio - For Louis Armstrong, A Ju-Ju
William Ford - Of Miles Davis
Nikki Giovanni - Genie in a Jar
Sam Greenlee - Memorial for Trane
Joy Harjo - Bird; Healing Animal; Strange Fruit
Michael S. Harper - Bandstand; A Narrative of the Life and Times of John Coltrane: Ply By Himself
DeBose Heyward - Jasbo Brown
Edward Hirsch - Art Pepper
Richard Hugo - My Buddy
T. R. Hummer - Poem In the Shape of a Saxophone
Angela Jackson - Billie in Silk; Make/n My Music; Ohnedaruth
Richard Jackson - Shadows
David Jauss - After the End of the World; Black Orchid
Lance Jeffers - How High the Moon; Nina Simone
June Jordan - October 23, 1983
Robert Kelly - Newark; Ode to Language
Keorapetse Kgositsile - Acknowledgement; For Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
Yusef Komunyakaa - Speed Ball; Twilight Seduction
Vachel Lindsay - The Jazz of This Hotel
Naomi Long Madgett - Echoes; Plea for My Heart’s Sake
William Matthews - The Buddy Bolden Cylinder; Mingus At the Showplace
Michael McClure - For Monk
Thomas McGrath - Guiffre’s Nightmusic; Jazz at the Intergalactic Nightclub
James McKean - Fater Listening to Jack Teagarden...
Sandra McPherson - The Ability to Make a Face like a Spider While Singing Blues: Junior Wells; Some Metaphysics of Junior Wells; Suspension: Junior Wells on a Small stage in a Converted Barn
David Meltzer - 17:II:82; 18:VI:82
Adrian Mitchell - From Rich Uneasy America to My Friend Christopher Logue
Mwatabu Okantah - Afreeka Brass; Southern Road
Ron Overton - Blues in"C"
Dudley Randall - Langston Blues
Carolyn M. Rodgers - We Dance Like Ella Riffs; Written for Love of an Ascension—Coltrane
Muriel Rukeyser - Bunk Johnson Blowing; Homage to Literature
Ntozake Shange - Elegance in the Extreme
Charles Simic - Crepescule With Nellie
A. B. Spellman - Did John’s Music Kill Him; John Coltrane
Lorenzo Thomas - Historiography
Askia Muhammad Touré - JuJu; O Lord of Light! A Mystic Sage Returns to Realms of Eternity
Derek Walcott - Blues; The Glory Trumpeter
Tom Weatherly - Mud River Shango; Times
Ron Welburn - Ben Webster: "Did You Call Her Today?"; Bones and Drums; Gonsalves
Miller Williams - The Death of Chet Baker
Yevgeny Yevtushenko - Saints of Jazz; Satchmo
Al Young - Dance of the Infidels; Lester Leaps In
Paul Zimmer - But Bird; Sitting With Lester

Biographical Notes and Statements of Poetics
Music Appendix

Indiana University Press

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