Tyehimba Jess


Born
Detroit, MI, The United States
Genre


Tyehimba Jess is the author of leadbelly and the Pulitzer Prize–winning Olio. leadbelly was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the "Best Poetry Books of 2005." Jess's second book, Olio, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, the 2017 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Poetry, and the 2017 Book Award for Poetry from the Society of Midland Authors. It was also a finalist for the 2016 National Books Critics Circle Award, 2017 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and the 2017 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Library Journal called it a "daring collection, which blends forthright, musically acute language with portraiture" and Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, called it "Encyclopedic, ...more

Average rating: 4.31 · 1,420 ratings · 180 reviews · 8 distinct worksSimilar authors
Olio

4.53 avg rating — 565 ratings — published 2016 — 3 editions
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leadbelly

4.36 avg rating — 321 ratings — published 2005
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Olio Live

3.82 avg rating — 207 ratings — published 2019 — 2 editions
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Turning Points in African-Amer

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Dark Matter: Reading the Bones

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4.16 avg rating — 321 ratings — published 2004 — 11 editions
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Anarcha Speaks: A History i...

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4.55 avg rating — 33 ratings3 editions
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Women of Resistance: Poems ...

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3.79 avg rating — 353 ratings — published 2018 — 8 editions
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Furious Flower: Seeding the...

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“we steady thud of wind with lungs that empty moon, fill it back up with shine, feed my feet to pig iron anklets biting flesh where i am link. i will break. bleed, crack. shatter. crush.
i'ma smash outta this choir, come up gasping new breath, my name burned clean, made mine”
Tyehimba Jess, leadbelly

“–I'll just play the notes inside my skull alone in the dark where they roam around loose. 'Cause playing like a slave, I'd just step myself straight into a hangman's noose."
On Sissieretta Jones, Jess writes: "See, Sissie would know how to let folks into one mask and out through another. She'd even raise a toast to the mask, jokin about whether folk–black and white–really believed that the opera was wearing her as a mask, or if it just tickled them to see her puttin on that white mask of Vivaldi. Was it her voice or someone else's? they'd seem to ask. Well, it was all her. Every note, in whiteface or blackface or in just plain old American, went straight down to her bones. That's what I heard when I truly listened, anyway. She'd pour those opera songs all over her body and then dress herself in the church frock of hymns. She told me one time, that in order to hear her true voice, she'd had to ask herself about her own masks. What kind of mask might I have on? she said. Because let me tell you, most don't even know they're wearing a mask. You've got to know which masks, how many masks you're wearing before you can put it down and see your true self. Those that do, they know just how to slide in and out of it, how to make the world spin inside it and out of it. How to spread their song all over that mask and make it one with the world, no matter how thick or thin the truth in that song might be.”
Tyehimba Jess, Olio

Topics Mentioning This Author

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Literary Fiction ...: Tyehimba Jess 2 22 Jan 19, 2017 11:19AM  
Literary Fiction ...: 2017 PEN America Literary Awards Shortlist announced 4 46 Jan 22, 2017 09:49AM  
Literary Fiction ...: Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards 4 22 Mar 24, 2017 11:13AM  
Literary Fiction ...: 2017 Pultizer Prize Winner 2 37 Apr 11, 2017 06:01PM  
Literary Fiction ...: April is National Poetry Month 13 50 Apr 28, 2017 08:09AM  
The Seasonal Read...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Completed Tasks: PLEASE DO NOT DELETE ANY POST IN THIS THREAD 2842 436 May 31, 2017 09:01PM  


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