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Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah : Poems
by Patricia Smith


Overview -

Winner of 2013 Wheatley Book Award in Poetry

Finalist for 2013 William Carlos Williams Award

Winner of 2014 Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry

"Patricia Smith is writing some of the best poetry in America today. Ms Smith's new book, "Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah," is just beautiful--and like the America she embodies and represents--dangerously beautiful.  Read more...


 
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More About Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah by Patricia Smith
 
 
 
Overview

Winner of 2013 Wheatley Book Award in Poetry

Finalist for 2013 William Carlos Williams Award

Winner of 2014 Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry

"Patricia Smith is writing some of the best poetry in America today. Ms Smith's new book, "Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah," is just beautiful--and like the America she embodies and represents--dangerously beautiful. "Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah" is a stunning and transcendent work of art, despite, and perhaps because of, its pain. This book shines." --Sapphire
"One of the best poets around and has been for a long time." --Terrance Hayes

"Smith's work is direct, colloquial, inclusive, adventuresome." --Gwendolyn Brooks

In her newest collection, Patricia Smith explores the second wave of the Great Migration. Shifting from spoken word to free verse to traditional forms, she reveals "that soul beneath the vinyl."

Patricia Smith is the author of five volumes of poetry, including "Blood Dazzler," a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award, and "Teahouse of the Almighty," a National Poetry Series selection. She lives in New Jersey.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781566892995
  • ISBN-10: 1566892996
  • Publisher: Coffee House Press
  • Publish Date: March 2012
  • Page Count: 116


Related Categories

Books > Poetry > American - African American
Books > Poetry > Women Authors
Books > Poetry > Subjects & Themes - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-05-21
  • Reviewer: Staff

In her title poem, Smith describes her mother and father debating what to call her. Smith’s mother bestowed on the poet a name fitting for a woman that would “never idly throat the Lord’s name or wear one/ of those thin, sparkled skirts that flirted with her knees./ She’d be a nurse or a third-grade teacher or a postal drone,/ jobs requiring alarm-clock discipline and sensible shoes.” But her father, though acquiescing, secretly called her Jimi Savannah, embodying “the blues-bathed moniker of a ball breaker, the name/ of a grown gal in a snug red sheath and unlaced All-stars.” This duality bursts forth in her poems about growing up on Chicago’s West Side, the place that lured her parents from Alabama promising a better life. The collection builds momentum with vivid, high-textured city scenes. “The city squared its teeth,” she writes and “smiled oil”; the chicken shack’s “slick cuisine served up in virgin white cardboard boxes with Tabasco/ nibbling the seams.” Motown saturates the language and weaves itself into Smith’s narratives. Focusing on the stinging memories of growing up black and a woman during the 1960s, one could overlook Smith’s mastery of rhyme rhythm and form, but it runs like an electric current throughout the collection. (May)

 
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