Master your Minecraft
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    The Powell's Playlist | October 21, 2014

    Anne Rice: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Anne Rice



    These are the songs that wake me up, take me out of my worries and anxieties, wash my brain cells, and send me to the keyboard to write with new... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$7.98
List price: $15.00
Sale Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
5 Burnside Poetry- A to Z

Blue Front: Poems

by

Blue Front: Poems Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A stunning account of racism, mob violence, and cultural responsibility as rendered by the poet Martha Collins

the victim hanged, though not on a tree, this

was not the country, they used a steel arch

with electric lights, and later a lamppost, this

was a modern event, the trees were not involved.

--from "Blue Front"

Martha Collins's father, as a five-year-old, sold fruit outside the Blue Front Restaurant in Cairo, Illinois, in 1909. What he witnessed there, with 10,000 participants, is shocking.

In Blue Front, Collins describes the brutal lynching of a black man and, as an afterthought, a white man, both of them left to the mercilessness of the spectators. The poems patch together an arresting array of evidence--newspaper articles, census data, legal history, postcards, photographs, and Collins's speculations

about her father's own experience. The resulting work, part lyric and part narrative, is a bold investigation into hate, mob mentality, culpability, and what it means to be white in a country still haunted by its violently racist history.

Review:

"Collins's fifth volume and first book-length poem concerns a horrifying lynching in her father's hometown. In Cairo, Ill., in 1909, two men (one black, one white) suspected of rape were murdered by a crowd; local newspapers celebrated the event. In sometimes narrative, sometimes impressionistic modes, Collins moves out from Cairo ('the most southern point in all the North') to the sad history of race relations in southern Illinois and throughout America since the Civil War. Snippets from letters, postcards, statistics, eyewitness reports and other documents mingle with Collins's own appalled voice to create a work that mixes resolve with horror: 'Often they cut off parts for souvenirs... Children were often there they were being taught.' With debts to W.S. Merwin's The Folding Cliffs and William Carlos Williams's Paterson, Collins (Some Things Words Can Do, 1999) creates at once a compelling, bristling story and a collage of evidence about white guilt. Another strand follows the poet's father (five years old in 1909) through his young adulthood (which may have included involvement with the Ku Klux Klan — common, even ubiquitous, there and then) into his kind old age. 'What he had seen/ is also what I was,' Collins writes: 'I had to know.' (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Martha Collins is the author of four previous poetry collections, including Some Things Words Can Do, and co-translator of two volumes of poetry from the Vietnamese. She teaches at Oberlin College and lives in Oberlin, Ohio, and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781555974497
Author:
Collins, Martha
Publisher:
Graywolf Press
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Race relations
Subject:
Lynching
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
United States Race relations.
Subject:
Lynching - Illinois - Cairo
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20060531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
88
Dimensions:
9.13 x 5.98 x 0.285 in

Other books you might like

  1. Omeros
    Used Trade Paper $7.95
  2. Seasonal Fires: New and Selected Poems New Trade Paper $17.95
  3. Ballad of Jamie Allan (07 Edition) Used Trade Paper $12.00
  4. Eugene Onegin Used Mass Market $2.95
  5. Nothing New Trade Paper $9.95
  6. The Best Tales of Hoffmann Used Trade Paper $3.95

Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

Blue Front: Poems Sale Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.98 In Stock
Product details 88 pages Graywolf Press - English 9781555974497 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Collins's fifth volume and first book-length poem concerns a horrifying lynching in her father's hometown. In Cairo, Ill., in 1909, two men (one black, one white) suspected of rape were murdered by a crowd; local newspapers celebrated the event. In sometimes narrative, sometimes impressionistic modes, Collins moves out from Cairo ('the most southern point in all the North') to the sad history of race relations in southern Illinois and throughout America since the Civil War. Snippets from letters, postcards, statistics, eyewitness reports and other documents mingle with Collins's own appalled voice to create a work that mixes resolve with horror: 'Often they cut off parts for souvenirs... Children were often there they were being taught.' With debts to W.S. Merwin's The Folding Cliffs and William Carlos Williams's Paterson, Collins (Some Things Words Can Do, 1999) creates at once a compelling, bristling story and a collage of evidence about white guilt. Another strand follows the poet's father (five years old in 1909) through his young adulthood (which may have included involvement with the Ku Klux Klan — common, even ubiquitous, there and then) into his kind old age. 'What he had seen/ is also what I was,' Collins writes: 'I had to know.' (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.