Testimony, a Tribute to Charlie Parker: With New and Selected Jazz Poems by Yusef Komunyakaa, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Testimony, a Tribute to Charlie Parker: With New and Selected Jazz Poems

Testimony, a Tribute to Charlie Parker: With New and Selected Jazz Poems

by Yusef Komunyakaa
     
 

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Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa is well known for his jazz poetry, and this book is the first to bring together the verve and vitality of his oeuvre. The centerpiece of this volume is the libretto “Testimony.” Paying homage to Charlie Parker, “Testimony” was commissioned for a radio drama with original music by eminent

Overview

Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa is well known for his jazz poetry, and this book is the first to bring together the verve and vitality of his oeuvre. The centerpiece of this volume is the libretto “Testimony.” Paying homage to Charlie Parker, “Testimony” was commissioned for a radio drama with original music by eminent Australian composer and saxophonist Sandy Evans. Remarkably rich and evocative, encompassing a wide range of musical energy and performers, this moving affirmation of Parker’s genius became a milestone in contemporary radio theater. Twenty-eight additional poems spanning the breadth of Komunyakaa’s career are included, including two never previously published. Accompanying the poems are interviews and essays featuring Komunyakaa, Evans, radio producer Christopher Williams, jazz critic Miriam Zolin, jazz writer and editor Sascha Feinstein, and musical director, Paul Grabowsky. Sascha Feinstein writes the foreword. The print edition includes two CDs with the entire Australian Broadcast Company recording of Testimony, ebook contains imbedded audio. Check for the online reader’s companion at testimony.site.wesleyan.edu.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Comprising of 14 sonnet-like stanzas, Komunyakaa’s narrative poem Testimony celebrates the life and legacy of jazz legend Charlie Parker. … This present book reprints the title poem along with a healthy sampling of about 50 of this Pulitzer Prize-winning poet’s other jazz poems. In a foreword, Sascha Feinstein—poet, editor, and close associate of Komunyakaa—provides a history of the Testimony project. Recommended (for) upper-division undergraduates and above.”
—B. Wallenstein, Choice

“Testimony… describes jazz as a country, a way of life, a sexuality, a spirituality.”
—Joseph Hoover, S.J., America Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780819574299
Publisher:
Wesleyan University Press
Publication date:
09/18/2013
Series:
Wesleyan Poetry Series
Edition description:
Includes audio supplement
Pages:
156
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are saying about this

Art Lange
“Charlie Parker’s life is well known to jazz fans, but Komunyakaa’s setting of these details is surprising and engaging, combining facts and symbolism, and his descriptive language is colorful and evocative.”
Stephen Cramer
“Testimony’ is one of the most successful jazz poems ever written, both lush and poignant, like the best of Parker’s solos.”
Jonathan Mayhew
“Testimony’ is a compelling tribute. . . . It is remarkably free of kitsch and cliché and has some wonderful details. The interview with Feinstein, and Feinstein’s other essay, help to explicate some of the details in the poem for readers less familiar with Bird lore.”

Meet the Author

YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA is a professor and senior distinguished poet in the graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University. He is the author of twenty books of poetry.

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