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Antebellum Dream Book
In surprising turns through different American cities, mindsets, and eras, and through the strange rhythms of dreaming, the celebrated poet Elizabeth Alexander composes her own kind of improvisational jazz. Antebellum Dream Book offers a music of resistances as well as soaring flights of fancy: the conflicts of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and after; a mother's s...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Graywolf Press
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Accessible and satisfying poems about race, the early days of motherhood, and a fertile dream life. The long central section is full of dreams – presumably actual ones that she had during the composition – recounted in remarkable and often very humorous detail. She writes of making love with Nat King Cole, taking a workshop led by Toni Morrison, and being in prison in Baltimore. Other poems are about black communities in D.C. (where she grew up) and Philadelphia, Muhammad Ali (in 12 “rounds”), a ...more
This is my first experience with Elizabeth Alexander's poetry and it certainly won't be my last! There were so many poems in this book that I just loved... 1968, Paul Says, The female seer will burn upon this pyre, and Postpartum Dream #12: Appointment to name a few. Such moving writing. I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of this book and letting Alexander open your eyes to new things! ...more
May 12, 2009 Will rated it it was ok
Recommended to Will by: Poetry Off the Shelf
There are a couple poems which really seem to work—especially through Alexander's ability to set a fully-realized scene with a tiny palmful of words. Unfortunately, this brevity isn't always such a blessing; sometimes it makes the poems feel like they're rough drafts, full of initial bursts of inspiration but also full of perplexing movements and endings. Her poems use words sparingly though they hardly feel like they've been shorn down by multiple revisions. And then there are Alexander's const ...more
Elizabeth Alexander is a Quantrell Award-winning American poet, essayist, playwright, university professor, and scholar of African-American literature and culture. She teaches English language/literature, African-American literature, and gender studies at Yale University. Alexander was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard during the 2007-08 academic year.
Alexander's po ...more
Alexander's po ...more