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The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South
by Nikky Finney
The South: to render all that it means to an African American takes someone with acutely tuned senses, someone with a patience, a passion even, for the region's history and contradictions. It takes a poet. In this new anthology, the first of its kind, more than one hundred contemporary black poets laugh at and cry about, pray for and curse, flee and return to--the South.Vo ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published March 25th 2007 by University of Georgia Press
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I rarely, rarely give five stars to books that are not considered canonical or by living authors, but Nikky Finney's landmark anthology, like its successor, BLACK NATURE (ed. Camille T. Dungy, (UGA Press), IS already canonical. And Dungy, who first came to my attention through the "rogue snnets" of WHAT TO EAT, WHAT TO DRINK, WHAT TO LEAVE FOR POISON (Red Hen) has gone on to publish two other splendid individual collections, SUCK ON THE MARROW (also Red Hen, winner of the Northern California Boo ...more
The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South is a complex anthology. This anthology would best be used in a high school classroom, but with heavily teacher selection and chunking. I really appreciated the context of African American poets joining together to poetically illustrate the significance and imagery of the south. On downfall of this anthology, honestly, is its complexity. It requires intricate background knowledge in regards to the impact and legacy of the south for African Americans. Althou ...more
Aug 06, 2007 Georgia rated it liked it · review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I came across this book at AWP 2007. It is interesting in the sense that it does expose us all to many African -American Poets that are unknown or not present in other anthologies. However, I find that the quality of work sometimes to be just avg.
An anthology this huge is going to be mixed. I was more drawn to the imagist/lyrical poems (surprise surprise) then I was to the talky or prosaic ones. But I'd recommend this book to people who are interested in poetry on any level.