Poetry. African & African American Studies. "Cynthia Manick's BLUE HALLELUJAHS bring us to a broil like Koko Taylor's 'white-toothed love coils on repeat.' Here, we have a gospel of womanly sharpness, a kitchen sinked and hot combed diary of the way Blues grinds into the 21st century. Gifted with the ability to smolder into surprise and swelter, Manick's reflections on discovery and loss will bring you to a 'slow applause under the skin.' Thank you for this bouquet of sheet music filled with church organ and pistol smoke, Ms. Manick. We gone need it to get to the other side."—Tyehimba Jess
"What we remember is what we become. Rocking chairs holding mothers and 'animals that root the ground for peaches, bones and stars.' In BLUE HALLELUJAHS Cynthia Manick holds fast to what brought us across. These are not the things you will hear about Black people on the nightly news. But they remain the things that lock the arms of Black people around Black people when we need what we need to keep moving on. I am so grateful to this sweet box of sacred words."—Nikky Finney
"The speaker of Cynthia Manick's haunted debut collection admits 'a love for surgery porn at 1 a.m.' And one early poem begins, 'Today I am elbow deep / in some animal's belly // pulling out the heart and stomach / for my mother's table.' Throughout, BLUE HALLELUJAHS approaches aspects of a woman's development—from 'feet first' Caesarean delivery to a grandmother's admonition 'to pull flesh / from the throat not the belly'—blade at the ready, moving from slaughter to surgery to a kind of deep southern haruspication. At the center of girlhood we find The Shop with its inventory of inherited hungers. 'Is this what the heart eats?' Manick renders visceral a longing to avoid extinction, to escape the museum, to live fully embodying one's identity as a woman who 'knows / how to wield a knife.'—Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
|Publisher:||Black Lawrence Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.30(d)|
About the Author
Cynthia Manick is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet with a MFA in Creative Writing from the New School; she has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Fine Arts Work Center, the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences, Hedgebrook, Poets House, and the Vermont Studio Center. She was a 2014 finalist for the New York Foundation of Arts Fellowship in Poetry; serves as East Coast Editor of the independent press Jamii Publishing; and is Founder of the reading series Soul Sister Revue. Manick's work has appeared in African American Review, Bone Bouquet, Callaloo, Fjords Review, Kweli Journal, Muzzle Magazine, Obsidian: Literature in the African Diaspora, St. Ann's Review, Spillway Magazine, and elsewhere. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Cynthia Manick's words have an impeccable rhythm and energy. The images, tastes, sights, and sounds she creates resonate throughout this incredible collection. Blue Hallelujahs hooks the reader from the beginning, capturing wide-eyed attention as Manick tells vivid stories of emotion, history, family, nature, music and youth. From the smell of buttermilk in her grandmother's kitchen to the sounds of saxophones and bullfrogs, these 43 poems are beautifully woven and highly memorable.