Synopses & Reviews
"In the poem 'Yard Talk,' G.E. Patterson writes of the 'hard love' black men express between each other, but the true conversation in the poem and in this stunning debut is with all of us. You will have to travel far to find a book that tackles the interior landscape of a black man with such tenderness and lyric power. Tug
is the book I know had to come down the pike sooner or later. Reading it, I couldn't ignore the feeling that a fire was being lit under American Poetry." --Cornelius Eady
"Many of the poems seem autobiographical. Yet, on second reading, one is not sure. Are these the stories of an ordinary black man's life, or is there a tug between several possible, even alternative, lives? .... I am so happy for this exploration which digs deep into the cracks between what we are and what we are supposed to be. Mr. Patterson, with all his love for play and invention, never forgets the serious tug of our painful history. Rather, he celebrates it by giving words to its complex and brilliant evolution." --Toi Derricotte
"Tug is a hugely accomplished book. These poems are wide-ranging in voice, style, and epistemology. Surprising at so many turns, plangent. Here G.E. Patterson has made strange and lovely music of the highest order." --Elizabeth Alexander
G.E. Patterson's awards include fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Minnesota State Arts Board.
, a thoroughly contemporary first collection, astonishes with its scope and vitality. Ranging in tone from formal to informal, and in mood from longing to celebration, Patterson deftly articulates the shifting ground of human relationships. Different characters, male and female, people these poems. Whether it be the loving son, the unrepentant seducer, or the African American man admired by the world, the voices speak to us openly, with an honesty that is disquieting.
Arcing between the impulse to sing and the impulse to narrate or document, Patterson explores the ties of love, family, and history, and shows them to be as tenuous and elusive as memory and desire. Tug is a collection to be proud of and introduces a freshly distinctive new talent.
About the Author
's awards include fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Minnesota State Arts Board.