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I Heard God Talking to Me: William Edmonson and His Stone Carvings

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I Heard God Talking to Me: William Edmonson and His Stone Carvings Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One night in the early 1930s, William Edmondson, the son of former slaves and a janitor in Nashville, Tennessee, heard God speaking to him. And so he began to carve – tombstones, birdbaths, and stylized human figures, whose spirits seemed to emerge fully formed from the stone. Soon Edmondsons talents caught the eye of prominent members of the art world, and in 1937 he became the first black artist to have a solo exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Here, in twenty-three free-verse poems, award-winning poet Elizabeth Spires gives voice to Edmondson and his creations, which tell their individual stories with wit and passion. With stunning photographs, including ten archival masterpieces by Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Edward Weston, this is a compelling portrait of a truly original American artist.

Elizabeth Spires, the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, is the author of six poetry collections for adults, and the childrens book The Mouse of Amherst. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
One night in the early 1930s, William Edmondson, the son of former slaves and a janitor in Nashville, Tennessee, heard God speaking to him. And so he began to carvetombstones, birdbaths, and stylized human figures, whose spirits seemed to emerge fully formed from the stone. Soon Edmondsons talents caught the eye of prominent members of the art world, and in 1937 he became the first black artist to have a solo exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Here, in twenty-three free-verse poems, award-winning poet Elizabeth Spires gives voice to Edmondson and his creations, which tell their individual stories with wit and passion. With stunning photographs, including ten archival masterpieces by Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Edward Weston, this is a compelling portrait of a truly original American artist.

“The larger questionswhat is it that art, in various media, can show usappeal to a broad audience, on beyond our fascination with this one artist.” Chicago Tribune

“A Beautiful book pairing Spires poems with photos of the self-taught sculptor who became the first black artist to have a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art.” St. Petersburg Times

“Though the concept is sophisticated as well as imaginative, Spires eloquent verses are certainly accessible to young readers, and theyre effective blends of the concrete and the imaginative; while playfulness predominates in the poetry as art, theres a sense of wonder and a vivid respect for the artist that underpins the humor.” Bulletin of the Center for Childrens Books

“A veritable treasure.” Kirkus Reviews

“Will encourage both youth and adult readers to explore the rich interplay between poetry and art.” Booklist

Review:

"Of interest to adults as well as children, this handsomely produced black-and-white book intriguingly combines photography, sculpture and poetry. The illiterate child of freed slaves, William Edmondson (1874 — 1951) experienced religious visions from the age of 13 or 14. At 57, hearing a voice 'telling me/ to pick up my tools/ and start to work on a tombstone,' he began carving limestone; he became, in 1937, the first African-American to have a solo show at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Four of Spires's (The Mouse of Amherst) poems are taken verbatim from interviews with the artist, but elsewhere the poet mimics Edmondson's homespun language to remarkable effect, and creates narrative voices for Edmondson's sculpted characters, photos of which are shown facing the poems. The subjects include an 'Angel with a Pocketbook,' Eleanor Roosevelt and a rabbit who explains how Edmondson 'thunked me with his hammer./...He reached in with his fingers,/ ... and drew me right out/ of that chunk of limestone!' The immediacy in Spires's poems will speak to young readers, although the appeal of Edmondson's weighty, primitive figures may be more apparent to adults. Portraits of Edmondson by luminaries Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Edward Weston make a lingering impression. All ages." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

In 1937, William Edmondson, the son of former slaves, became the first black artist to have a solo exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Here, in 23 free-verse poems, an award-winning poet gives voice to Edmondson and his creations, in a compelling portrait of a truly original American artist. Photos.

Synopsis:

One night in the early 1930s, William Edmondson, the son of former slaves and a janitor in Nashville, Tennessee, heard God speaking to him. And so he began to carve – tombstones, birdbaths, and stylized human figures, whose spirits seemed to emerge fully formed from the stone. Soon Edmondsons talents caught the eye of prominent members of the art world, and in 1937 he became the first black artist to have a solo exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Here, in twenty-three free-verse poems, award-winning poet Elizabeth Spires gives voice to Edmondson and his creations, which tell their individual stories with wit and passion. With stunning photographs, including ten archival masterpieces by Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Edward Weston, this is a compelling portrait of a truly original American artist.


Synopsis:

One night in the early 1930s, William Edmondson, the son of former slaves and a janitor in Nashville, Tennessee, heard God speaking to him. And so he began to carve - tombstones, birdbaths, and stylized human figures, whose spirits seemed to emerge fully formed from the stone. Soon Edmondsons talents caught the eye of prominent members of the art world, and in 1937 he became the first black artist to have a solo exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Here, in twenty-three free-verse poems, award-winning poet Elizabeth Spires gives voice to Edmondson and his creations, which tell their individual stories with wit and passion. With stunning photographs, including ten archival masterpieces by Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Edward Weston, this is a compelling portrait of a truly original American artist.

About the Author

ELIZABETH SPIRES, the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, is the author of six poetry collections for adults, and the childrens book The Mouse of Amherst. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374335281
Author:
Spires, Elizabeth
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Subject:
Sculptors
Subject:
Sculpture
Subject:
General
Subject:
Religion
Subject:
Stone carving
Subject:
Art
Subject:
Poetry : General
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography - Art
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography - Cultural Heritage
Subject:
African Americans
Subject:
African Americans - Religion
Subject:
People
Subject:
Places/United States/African American
Subject:
People & Places - United States - African-American
Subject:
Children's poetry
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 5
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Includes black-and-white photographs thr
Pages:
64
Dimensions:
10.50 x 8.50 in
Age Level:
08-12

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Related Subjects

Children's » Nonfiction » Biographies
Children's » Poetry » General
Young Adult » Nonfiction » Biographies

I Heard God Talking to Me: William Edmonson and His Stone Carvings New Hardcover
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$15.26 In Stock
Product details 64 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374335281 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Of interest to adults as well as children, this handsomely produced black-and-white book intriguingly combines photography, sculpture and poetry. The illiterate child of freed slaves, William Edmondson (1874 — 1951) experienced religious visions from the age of 13 or 14. At 57, hearing a voice 'telling me/ to pick up my tools/ and start to work on a tombstone,' he began carving limestone; he became, in 1937, the first African-American to have a solo show at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Four of Spires's (The Mouse of Amherst) poems are taken verbatim from interviews with the artist, but elsewhere the poet mimics Edmondson's homespun language to remarkable effect, and creates narrative voices for Edmondson's sculpted characters, photos of which are shown facing the poems. The subjects include an 'Angel with a Pocketbook,' Eleanor Roosevelt and a rabbit who explains how Edmondson 'thunked me with his hammer./...He reached in with his fingers,/ ... and drew me right out/ of that chunk of limestone!' The immediacy in Spires's poems will speak to young readers, although the appeal of Edmondson's weighty, primitive figures may be more apparent to adults. Portraits of Edmondson by luminaries Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Edward Weston make a lingering impression. All ages." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , In 1937, William Edmondson, the son of former slaves, became the first black artist to have a solo exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Here, in 23 free-verse poems, an award-winning poet gives voice to Edmondson and his creations, in a compelling portrait of a truly original American artist. Photos.
"Synopsis" by ,
One night in the early 1930s, William Edmondson, the son of former slaves and a janitor in Nashville, Tennessee, heard God speaking to him. And so he began to carve – tombstones, birdbaths, and stylized human figures, whose spirits seemed to emerge fully formed from the stone. Soon Edmondsons talents caught the eye of prominent members of the art world, and in 1937 he became the first black artist to have a solo exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Here, in twenty-three free-verse poems, award-winning poet Elizabeth Spires gives voice to Edmondson and his creations, which tell their individual stories with wit and passion. With stunning photographs, including ten archival masterpieces by Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Edward Weston, this is a compelling portrait of a truly original American artist.


"Synopsis" by ,
One night in the early 1930s, William Edmondson, the son of former slaves and a janitor in Nashville, Tennessee, heard God speaking to him. And so he began to carve - tombstones, birdbaths, and stylized human figures, whose spirits seemed to emerge fully formed from the stone. Soon Edmondsons talents caught the eye of prominent members of the art world, and in 1937 he became the first black artist to have a solo exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Here, in twenty-three free-verse poems, award-winning poet Elizabeth Spires gives voice to Edmondson and his creations, which tell their individual stories with wit and passion. With stunning photographs, including ten archival masterpieces by Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Edward Weston, this is a compelling portrait of a truly original American artist.

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