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Point Blank: Poems

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4.35  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  7 reviews
"In Point Blank, we are given an intimate look at one man's inner and outer life, but there's no navel-gazing nonsense. There's always an awareness, implied or explicit, of the sociopolitical crucible. With language both tough-minded and celebratory, Alan King ignites the important details of his experience, compelling us to ask what-plus-what added up to our own lives." ...more
Paperback, 102 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Silver Birch Press
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4.35  · 
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Joseph
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry

Alan King is a poet. He wants to be known as a poet. He seems to be recognized as an African-American poet with the emphasis on African American. This comes out early with "Sure, You Can Ask Me About Hip Hop" and re-enforced with "The Brute" about the boss who asked him, by the wrong name, to read poetry at a company function but "Don't get too Black with it." It is the stereotypes that run through society from police stops to being served in restaurants that prevent someone from being accepted
...more
Tori (InToriLex)

Actual Rating 3.5

Content Warning: Racism

I really enjoyed these eclectic poems about coming of age and experiencing adversity and tragedy. The author does a great job of creating imagery and atmosphere throughout his poems. The dialogue used flowed naturally and allowed me to be more immersed with the topics described. I was engaged in this short collection the whole way through, even when I couldn't directly relate to the experiences described.

"Thats when the world becomes scarier, when you
...more
Tara
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Alan King is one of our nation's lesser-known poetic voices, but his is a voice that should be broadcast widely. Listen to his musical stanzas, his rapping rhythms, his laser-sharp cultural insights, his passionate heart beating, and I dare you to forget his message or his unique wisdom. I've been a fan since Drift. A poet to watch.
Katy Vendetti
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was given this book by the poet author, Alan King, to review. I think these kinds of poems are timely and needed at this moment in our history. King invites his readers into his life in such a vulnerable and authentic way.
I loved a lot of the references and metaphors. Food is probably my favorite of his imagery. I can almost smell the food cooking in the kitchen - the coconut and okra. His parents are immigrants from Trinidad and Tobago which seems to play heavily in with the food. It made it
...more
Ariadne
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Three and a half stars

All in all a really enjoyable collection. I especially enjoyed the poems contrasting what it means to be black in America as opposed to Trinidad & Tobago where his parents grew up. There are many astute observations about race in here, but there are also plenty of poems about youth, manhood, family, romance, and even several about comic books. A well rounded collection with a strong voice and snappy metaphors. Well worth the read.
Nancy Sharpe
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Point blank took me on a journey of beauty and truth through the disciplined keen eye of King’s observation, reflection, and personal life experience. A moment-to-moment account not unlike meditation seeking to engage the reader in the full smorgasbord of life with all its searing pain and exhilarating joys. Reading this work brought me closer to humanity’s points of connection while the differences faded away. There is a quiet power in King’s work that made me want to pay more attention to life ...more
Cortney
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Read this! From the shuddering trees that gripped me in King's opening poem, to the carefree tree shrugging at the end, the poems in Point Blank held me with their honesty, beauty, and playfulness. This collection gets right at it.
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Alan King is a Caribbean American, whose parents emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago to the U.S. in the 1970s. He’s a husband, father, and communications professional who blogs about art and social issues at alanwking.com. A Cave Canem graduate fellow, he holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine. He’s a three-time Pushcart Priz ...more