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Red Sugar

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  135 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
The torso facing east, the head nearly west, as if she couldn't take in the sight of her own skin and its failings, its parts spilling. D. A. Powell What is it about the poems in Red Sugar, Jan Beatty's astonishing third collection, that brings to mind the incomparable music of Miles Davis? 'It's just that I can't play like anybody else... I can't do anything like anybody ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published March 28th 2008 by University of Pittsburgh Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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Robert Beveridge
Dec 30, 2008 Robert Beveridge rated it really liked it
Jan Beatty, Red Sugar (University of Pittsburgh, 2008)

Red Sugar has, perhaps, caused more controversy than any American book of poetry since the sixties. Not that many people have noticed, but Jan Beatty's third volume got a scheduled reading at a Joseph-Beth Booksellers location cancelled back in the summer. It's caused quite a stir among book nerds and the hardcore anti-censorship types, but as is usual in this country, poetry-related matters don't make the national headlines. That's too bad,
Apr 20, 2015 Juliet rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I have not bought a book of poems in years. I heard Jan Beatty read some poems from her newest collection, The Switching/Yard, and I was so impressed by her complete vulnerability and sincerity in every line, I had to go buy her books. People who know poetry in general and her poetry in particular said I should also read this, because it was incredible. So I took their advice, and I read this first, since she wrote it first. Their advice was on the money. This was incredible.

It's about really pa
Mar 13, 2009 Jcat rated it it was ok
Had its great moments. Overdone and uncomfortable (not the sex, other aspects). 2.5.
May 17, 2009 Katie rated it it was amazing
Red Sugar is about class, women, and blood. Beatty, in an 2008 interview with radio station Classical QED 89.3 Pittsburgh's series Around Town, says that “class runs all through [her:] books, in terms of work, in terms of attitude towards work, in terms of survival,” and Beatty claims that this book, unlike Mad River or Boneshaker, her two previous books, tries to get inside the body, into the blood of people, into what drives them. We see these twin themes of class and heritage play out as Red ...more
Sep 09, 2008 Ilene rated it it was amazing
amazing. beautiful. shocking. can't look away kind of poems. if i could write like this, that'd be my paradise.
Stevie Edwards
Jan 06, 2013 Stevie Edwards rated it it was amazing
Jan Beatty is a beast! Buy this book! Then think about how you should be a braver writer (if you are inclined toward writing your own work).
A little bit of witty, a little bit of sexy, a whole lot of dangerous. I think this is Jan's best book.
Apr 28, 2012 Khadijah rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Beatty is fearless. The poems are just the right kind of messy; visceral, human, tough.
May 19, 2008 Kelley rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
She's a favorite - so I'm biased. But this is a pretty gutsy book, as all her work usually is. She delves into the body and comes out with blood on her hands.
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“Why is the raw body so unloved when it's out-loud? Just veins, blood, what we're made of?” 5 likes
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