Synopses & Reviews
Philip Bryant writes out of his experience growing up on the southside of Chicago in the 1950s and '60s, nurtured by the loving and wise cast of characters that make up his extended family. Bryant later moved to rural Minnesota, where he still lives and teaches, raising with his wife his own family of three children. His poetry is alive with jazz music, "the warm and intimate smell / of great northerns simmering in / smoked ham hocks / and sizzling bacon grease", and the light pouring through church windows. The poems about his childhood are presided over by his Aunt Janey, a "great, powerful" woman who, when the spirit visits her at Sunday meeting and sends her into a fainting spell, still has the presence of mind to tell her nephew to not leave unattended her red patent leather purse "under the pew / where I dropped it". Funny, warm, and humane, the poems in Sermon on a Perfect Spring Day lead us back into the heart of family and home, wherever we may find them.
Philip Bryant writes out of his African American experience growing up on the south side of Chicago in the 1950s and '60s, nurtured by the loving and wise extended family. Bryant's poetry is alive with jazz music and the light pouring through church windows. Funny, warm, and humane, the poems in SERMON ON A PERFECT SPRING DAY lead us back into the heart of family and home, wherever we may find them.
Poetry. African American Studies. To be instructed by exhortation in scripture from a pulpit is a return to fundamentals; Bryant loves to riff in short exhortations, treatises, assays on the controversial, on the impolitic... Bryant is at heart a teacher; he believes in daylight, so you can see the night-Michael Harper. In Philip Bryant's latest collection of poems, crystal-clear recollections crack with tangible immediacy: Frost/ is on the grass, but the snow is completely gone. The sky/ is clear and deep blue; I don't know spring is coming/ because I am too young to know what season it is (Eleven Short Scenes from My Life). Philip Bryant is an Associate Professor of English at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.
From the southside of Chicago to Rural Minnesota, Bryant brings us stories of home.