1994 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
Synopses & Reviews
An award-winning poet’s testimony of the war in Vietnam.
"This collection is comprised of poems from seven of Komunyakaa's previous collections. A master at interweaving memory and history to shape his experiences into narratives, Komunyakaa enriches his poems with details." Library Journal
"Quite simply, Komunyakaa is one of the most extraordinary poets writing today...He takes on the most complex moral issues, the most harrowing ugly subjects of our American life. His voice, whether it embodies the specific experiences of a black man, a soldier in Vietnam, or a child in Bogalusa, Louisiana, is universal. It shows us in ever deeper ways what it is to be human." Toi Derricotte, Kenyon Review
"Yusef Komunyakaa is a poet whose work, over ten years and many books, continues to grow in complexity and beauty. Neon Vernacular includes some of the best Vietnam testimony, in verse or prose, that I've ever read. Komunyakaa's whole oeuvre explores and re/members the double consciousness at work in the construction of African-American male identity." Marilyn Hacker, The Nation
About the Author
Yusef Komunyakaa is a professor in the creative writing department at New York University. He has won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and many other awards for poetic achievement, including the 2001 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the 2004 Shelley Memorial Award, the Hanes Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the Levinson Prize from Poetry Magazine, and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.