The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South

The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South

by Nikky Finney


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The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South by Nikky Finney

The South: to render all that it means to an African American takes someone with acutely tuned senses, someone with a patience, a passion even, for the region's history and contradictions. It takes a poet. In this new anthology, the first of its kind, more than one hundred contemporary Black poets laugh at and cry about, pray for and curse, flee and return to the South.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820329253
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication date: 03/25/2007
Series: The Cave Canem Poetry Prize Series
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

FRANK W WALKER is the 2013-2014 poet laureate of Kentucky. He is an associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky and the editor of Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. A Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry recipient, he is the author of five collections of poetry, including Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York, which won the Lillian Smith Book Award, and Isaac Murphy: I Dedicate This Ride.

HOUSTON A. BAKER JR. is a professor of English at Duke University. Among his honors and achievements in American letters, Baker is a past president of the Modern Language Association. His books include Workings of the Spirit: The Poetics of Afro-American Women's Writing and Black Studies, Rap, and the Academy.

NATASHA TRETHEWEY was the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, 2012–14. She is the author of four collections of poetry: Thrall, Domestic Work, Bellocq’s Ophelia, and Native Guard, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. She is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University.

SEAN HILL is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He received his MFA from the University of Houston in 2003 and was awarded a Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing in 2006. Hill's poems have been published widely in journals, including Callaloo, Indiana Review, and Ploughshares.

NIKKY FINNEY is a professor of creative writing at the University of Kentucky and the author of three collections of poetry: On Wings Made of Gauze; Rice, which won a PEN America Open Book Award; and The World Is Round. She is also the author of Heartwood, a collection of short stories.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     xvii
Heirlooms and Introductions     xix
Music, Food, and Work: Heeding the Lamentation and Roar of Things Made by Hand
"Dirty Rice"     3
"Rabbit"     4
"Time with Stevie Wonder in It"     6
"Night Shift/Day Shift"     9
"Don't Know What Love Is"     11
"Joe Chappel's Foot Log Bottom Blues, 1952"     12
"Glutton"     14
"Back in blues"     16
"Fish"     17
"Red onion hoodoo"     19
"Night Work"     21
"Doing Hair"     23
"Simmie Knox Paints Bill Clinton for the White House"     25
"The Boucherie"     27
"Catfish"     28
"Miss Look's Dream (Miss Look)"     32
"The Migrants"     34
"The Whistle"     35
"Red Blessings"     38
"At the Owl Club, North Gulfport, Mississippi, 1950"     41
"Pea Song"     43
"Intermittent Requiems for Bud"     44
"Witness"     46
"The Spice of Life"     47
"The Quilter"     48
"Sound and Semblance"     49
"Cookout"     52
"WatermelonRepast"     54
"Pot Meals"     55
"I know the grandmother one had hands"     57
"Smoke"     59
"Middle Ear"     61
Swimming, Childhood, and Other Thunders: Don't Get Your Hot Hair Wet or Your Good Shoes Dirty
"How to Teach Them"     65
"Immolatus"     68
"Nikki-Rosa"     70
"Lessons in Trailer Living"     72
"Hair Raising"     73
"1957"     74
"Manhood"     76
"What she will remember"     78
"Splinter of the Path"     79
"Fusion"     81
"On the first drive-by"     83
"Mama Gertie Bell Speaks to Her Granddaughter"     84
"My Best Day"     85
"Nicknames"     86
"Journeyman"     90
"Buckwheat's Lament"     91
"Bull"     92
"How to Make It"     94
"Key west"     97
"Eads Bridge Boogie Across the Mississippi"     99
"History Makes Concessions for White Boys"     100
"Black Hymnal"     102
"The Dry Spell"     104
"Spectaculations"     106
"Ghazai for My Mother"     108
Religion and Nature: The Lord Looks Out for Babies and Fools; The Anvil of Heaven Murmuring
"Sunday"     111
"How to Make Rain"     112
"The Tire Plant Is Struck by Lightning"     114
"Baptism"     115
"St. Philip Blues"     117
"Quarter Moon Rise"     119
"Israelites"     120
"Picnic"     121
"Lightning bug reflects"     123
"The Reason I Know the Devil Is Mean"     124
"Nat Turner in the Clearing"     125
"Prelude to a new plague"     126
"Speaking in Tongues"     127
"My Mother's Tornado"     129
"Goodness and Mercy Shall Follow Me"     130
"Goldsboro Narrative #20"     131
"Storm Named Earl"     133
His and Her Story: The Myth and Rumble of Memory under the Hammer of Jeopardy
"Harriet Tubman's Email 2 Master"     139
"Seven crown man"     140
"Reward"     142
"The Politics of Breathing"     144
"We Are Not Responsible"     145
"The Good Funeral"     146
"My Heart"     148
"Hands, 1921"     149
"Drapery Factory, Gulfport, Mississippi, 1956"     152
"Barking"      278
"In a place where"     279
"Garden"     281
"O'Connor's South"     284
"Bliss: geophagy"     286
"Bowing in the Church of Beauty"     287
"Awake"     288
"In my neighborhood just north of atlanta"     289
"Milledgeville Haibun"     290
"Fifth Street Exit, Richmond"     291
"Summer Night, McNasby's Pier, 1968"     295
"Duke"     297
"Of Course the Brochure Doesn't Mention Mrs. Abbott"     300
"Knoxville, Tennessee"     303
"Between Angels & Monsters"     304
"On Passing thru Morgantown"     306
"Song of the South"     307
"Our Natures Rise"     309
"Home (Running Man)"     310
"Landscape Mode"     313
"True Autumn"     314
"Driving South"     316
"I Love It When You Call Me Big Country"     317
The Twenty-first-Century Southern Riff and Shout: Modern Lullabies for Planet Octavia
"Ectopia"     321
"Graphs: Photos from a Traveler"     322
"Residual"     325
"I Have Walked a Long Time"     326
"Saturday & a glimpse of sunday"     328
"Haiku 142005"     330
"Community day"     331
"Afronauts"     334
"We Real Crunk"     336
"Diovan HCT 160MG"     337
"Three the Hard Way"     338
"Lawn Jockey"     344
"Poem For Amadou Diallo"     345
"Big Thicket: Pastoral"     346
"Dressing Down"     349
"Elegy for the Mad Brother @ Borders"     350
"Poem for June Jordan"     352
"Apathy no more"     354
"Gentleman"     356
"Eartha Takes the Old Woman Shopping for Red Shoes"     357
"One for Strom"     359
"Now"     360
Nikky Finney Interviews Lucille Clifton     363
Credits     379
Contributors     385

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