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1 Burnside Poetry- A to Z

Dear Darkness

by

Dear Darkness Cover

ISBN13: 9780307264343
ISBN10: 0307264343
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $15.95!

 

Review-A-Day

"Per page, per ounce, per dollar — whatever your preferred unit of measurement, Kevin Young must surely be one of the best entertainment values in today's poetry world. His books seethe with energy and ambition, frequently casting expansionist glances toward other genres, as if they are not quite content with being poetry books and want to assimilate nearby (or not-so-nearby) modes of culture as well." Troy Jollimore, San Francisco Chronicle (read the entire San Francisco Chronicle review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Las Vegas, Nashville, despair, the Midwest, "Bar-B-Q Heaven" and his family’s Louisiana home: these are the American places that Kevin Young visits in his powerful, heartfelt sixth book of poetry. Begun as a reflection on family and memory, Dear Darkness became a book of elegies after the sudden death of the poet's father, a violent event that silenced Young with grief until he turned to rhapsodizing about the food that has sustained him and his Louisiana family for decades. Flavorful, yet filled with sadness, these stunningly original odes — to gumbo, hot sauce, crawfish, and even homemade wine — travel adeptly between slow-cooked tradition and a new direction, between everyday living and transcendent sorrow.

As in his prizewinning Jelly Roll, Young praises and grieves in one breath, paying homage to his significant clan — to "aunties" and "double cousins" and a great-grandfather's grave in a segregated cemetery — even as he mourns. His blues expand to include a series of poems contemplating the deaths of Johnny Cash, country rocker Gram Parsons, and a host of family members lost in the past few years. Burnished by loss and a hard-won humor, he delivers poems that speak to our cultural griefs even as he buries his own. "Sadder than / a wedding dress / in a thrift store," these are poems which grow out of hunger and pain but find a way to satisfy both; Young counts his losses and our blessings, knowing "inside / anything can sing."

Review:

"Perhaps the most prominent African-American poet of his generation, the prolific Young (For the Confederate Dead) begins his sixth book, which gathers sets of independent short poems — some very funny, some heartbreaking, almost all in deftly enjambed, uncommonly various lines — with evocations of his childhood, at once cozy and surrounded by half-secret threats: 'Back/ in the day, my mother cut my afro/ every few months, bathroom layered/ with headlines proclaiming the world's end.' Young then launches into odes to foods, many (but not all) of them from African-American traditions: 'I know you're the blues/ because loving you/ may kill me,' says 'Ode to Pork.' Other work finds lessons in country and country-rock music ('On Being the Only Black Person at the Johnny Paycheck Concert'). For all the humor, and all the autobiography, in this big book, Young digs deepest and sounds most powerful when he returns to the unlucky, unlovely, generalized personae of blues, who become in his hands at once a source of energy and a means for elegy: 'Let me be what/ dust has to be, settling// over everything,' he says in the bluesy 'Lullaby,' '& I promise to dream// of new houses & old/ loves no longer.' (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Ultimately, the collection effectively becomes an exercise in soul-searching even as it eulogizes Young's father. Highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"Young reaches for myth but cant resist wit, paying hilarious tribute to aunties and uncles, dealing in double entendres, capturing the topsy-turvy, otherworldly ambience of Las Vegas. And even while deeply mourning for his father, he pulls a Neruda and writes funny, sly odes to the ordinary, focusing on food, metaphors for desire, the life force, and deaths endless consumption." Booklist

Synopsis:

Las Vegas, Nashville, despair, the Midwest, “Bar-B-Q Heaven” and his familys Louisiana home: these are the American places that Kevin Young visits in his powerful, heartfelt sixth book of poetry. Begun as a reflection on family and memory, Dear Darkness became a book of elegies after the sudden death of the poets father, a violent event that silenced Young with grief until he turned to rhapsodizing about the food that has sustained him and his Louisiana family for decades. Flavorful, yet filled with sadness, these stunningly original odes—to gumbo, hot sauce, crawfish, and even homemade wine—travel adeptly between slow-cooked tradition and a new direction, between everyday living and transcendent sorrow.

As in his prizewinning Jelly Roll, Young praises and grieves in one breath, paying homage to his significant clan—to “aunties” and “double cousins” and a great-grandfathers grave in a segregated cemetery—even as he mourns. His blues expand to include a series of poems contemplating the deaths of Johnny Cash, country rocker Gram Parsons, and a host of family members lost in the past few years. Burnished by loss and a hard-won humor, he delivers poems that speak to our cultural griefs even as he buries his own. “Sadder than / a wedding dress / in a thrift store,” these are poems which grow out of hunger and pain but find a way to satisfy both; Young counts his losses and our blessings, knowing “inside / anything can sing.”

About the Author

Kevin Young is the author of five previous collections of poetry. His book Jelly Roll was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and won the Paterson Poetry Prize. His most recent collection, For the Confederate Dead, won the 2007 Quill Award for poetry. He has also been the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, and is currently the Atticus Haygood Professor of English and Creative Writing and curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University in Atlanta.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Kirsten Myers, February 6, 2009 (view all comments by Kirsten Myers)
Great to read poems about okra and boudin in the middle of winter in the Northeast. More than that, though, the entire book is filled with poems great to read aloud over and over.
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(6 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307264343
Subtitle:
Poems
Author:
Young, Kevin
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
American poetry
Subject:
Single Author / General
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Subject:
Single Author / American
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080909
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
216
Dimensions:
9.24x6.70x.94 in. 1.08 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » American » African American

Dear Darkness Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.95 In Stock
Product details 216 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307264343 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Perhaps the most prominent African-American poet of his generation, the prolific Young (For the Confederate Dead) begins his sixth book, which gathers sets of independent short poems — some very funny, some heartbreaking, almost all in deftly enjambed, uncommonly various lines — with evocations of his childhood, at once cozy and surrounded by half-secret threats: 'Back/ in the day, my mother cut my afro/ every few months, bathroom layered/ with headlines proclaiming the world's end.' Young then launches into odes to foods, many (but not all) of them from African-American traditions: 'I know you're the blues/ because loving you/ may kill me,' says 'Ode to Pork.' Other work finds lessons in country and country-rock music ('On Being the Only Black Person at the Johnny Paycheck Concert'). For all the humor, and all the autobiography, in this big book, Young digs deepest and sounds most powerful when he returns to the unlucky, unlovely, generalized personae of blues, who become in his hands at once a source of energy and a means for elegy: 'Let me be what/ dust has to be, settling// over everything,' he says in the bluesy 'Lullaby,' '& I promise to dream// of new houses & old/ loves no longer.' (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Per page, per ounce, per dollar — whatever your preferred unit of measurement, Kevin Young must surely be one of the best entertainment values in today's poetry world. His books seethe with energy and ambition, frequently casting expansionist glances toward other genres, as if they are not quite content with being poetry books and want to assimilate nearby (or not-so-nearby) modes of culture as well." (read the entire San Francisco Chronicle review)
"Review" by , "Ultimately, the collection effectively becomes an exercise in soul-searching even as it eulogizes Young's father. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "Young reaches for myth but cant resist wit, paying hilarious tribute to aunties and uncles, dealing in double entendres, capturing the topsy-turvy, otherworldly ambience of Las Vegas. And even while deeply mourning for his father, he pulls a Neruda and writes funny, sly odes to the ordinary, focusing on food, metaphors for desire, the life force, and deaths endless consumption."
"Synopsis" by , Las Vegas, Nashville, despair, the Midwest, “Bar-B-Q Heaven” and his familys Louisiana home: these are the American places that Kevin Young visits in his powerful, heartfelt sixth book of poetry. Begun as a reflection on family and memory, Dear Darkness became a book of elegies after the sudden death of the poets father, a violent event that silenced Young with grief until he turned to rhapsodizing about the food that has sustained him and his Louisiana family for decades. Flavorful, yet filled with sadness, these stunningly original odes—to gumbo, hot sauce, crawfish, and even homemade wine—travel adeptly between slow-cooked tradition and a new direction, between everyday living and transcendent sorrow.

As in his prizewinning Jelly Roll, Young praises and grieves in one breath, paying homage to his significant clan—to “aunties” and “double cousins” and a great-grandfathers grave in a segregated cemetery—even as he mourns. His blues expand to include a series of poems contemplating the deaths of Johnny Cash, country rocker Gram Parsons, and a host of family members lost in the past few years. Burnished by loss and a hard-won humor, he delivers poems that speak to our cultural griefs even as he buries his own. “Sadder than / a wedding dress / in a thrift store,” these are poems which grow out of hunger and pain but find a way to satisfy both; Young counts his losses and our blessings, knowing “inside / anything can sing.”

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