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Original Essays | July 22, 2014

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The three men lit up in my mind's eye, with footnotes. They were converging on me — and on the object I was carrying — in a way that had... Continue »
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City Lights Spotlight #05: Compression & Purity

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City Lights Spotlight #05: Compression & Purity Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The fifth volume of our Spotlight poetry series, Compression and Purity is a new collection of poetry by Los Angeles–based African American surrealist Will Alexander. Known for densely textured visionary epics influenced by poets like Aimé Césaire and César Vallejo, Alexander here returns to shorter forms to address his ecological, cosmological, and historical concerns. Highlights include a monologue from the perspective of "The Blood Penguin," a song by the "New Water on Mars," and Alexander's autobiographical lyric essay, "My Interior Vita," describing the evolution of his artistic consciousness through jazz and surrealism. Compression and Purity confirms Alexander's reputation among surrealism's foremost contemporary practitioners.

Review:

"This new & rich gathering of Will Alexander's works—always in progress—marks him again as the true successor among us to the likes of Surreal & deeply explorative figures like Breton & Césaire. No other poet writing in America today does it the way that Alexander does—a range of words & images that startle & create new pathways for language & the mind-in-freedom (“alchemical, mesmeric, totalic,” as he names them in these pages). Compression & Purity, so aptly titled, is the work of a true American & world master —& a joy to have & read." —Jerome Rothenberg

Synopsis:

African American surrealism that extends from the ocean floor to the outer reaches of space.

About the Author

Will Alexander (born 1948) is a poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, visual artist, and pianist. He was the recipient of a Whiting Fellowship for Poetry in 2001 and a California Arts Council Fellowship in 2002. He was the subject of a colloquium published in the prestigious African American cultural journal, Callaloo (volume 22, number 2) in 1999. Over the years he has worked several jobs (including the LA Lakers box office) and taught at various institutions, including University of California, San Diego, New College (San Francisco, CA), Hofstra University, and Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Boulder, CO, in addition to being associated with the nonprofit organization Theatre of Hearts/Youth First, serving at-risk youth. He is a lifelong resident of Los Angeles.

Alexanders poetry and his visual art have been greatly influenced by surrealism, particularly Octavio Paz, Bob Kaufman, and Philip Lamantia, as well as Francophone Negritude writers such as Aimé Cesaire and Jean-Joseph Rabéarivelo, and cosmic figures like musician Sun Ra. Much of Alexanders work is characterized by a powerful mix of metaphor and sophisticated language.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780872865419
Author:
Alexander, Will
Publisher:
City Lights Books
Subject:
Poetry/African American
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
City Lights Spotlight
Series Volume:
5
Publication Date:
20110431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
100
Dimensions:
7 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

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

City Lights Spotlight #05: Compression & Purity New Trade Paper
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$13.95 In Stock
Product details 100 pages City Lights Books - English 9780872865419 Reviews:
"Review" by , "This new & rich gathering of Will Alexander's works—always in progress—marks him again as the true successor among us to the likes of Surreal & deeply explorative figures like Breton & Césaire. No other poet writing in America today does it the way that Alexander does—a range of words & images that startle & create new pathways for language & the mind-in-freedom (“alchemical, mesmeric, totalic,” as he names them in these pages). Compression & Purity, so aptly titled, is the work of a true American & world master —& a joy to have & read." —Jerome Rothenberg
"Synopsis" by ,
African American surrealism that extends from the ocean floor to the outer reaches of space.
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