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By Kevin Young

James Brown. John Brown's raid. Brown v. the Topeka Board of Ed. The prize-winning writer of Blue Laws meditates on all issues "brown" during this robust new collection.

Divided into "Home Recordings" and "Field Recordings," Brown speaks to the way in which own adventure is formed by means of tradition, whereas tradition is perpetually plagued by the non-public, recalling a black Kansas boyhood to touch upon our instances. From "History"--a music of Kansas high-school fixture Mr. W., who gave his scholars "the Sixties / minus Malcolm X, or Watts, / slightly a march on Washington"--to "Money Road," a sobering pilgrimage to the positioning of Emmett Till's lynching, the poems have interaction position and the prior and their intertwined strength. those thirty-two taut poems and poetic sequences, together with an oratorio in line with Mississippi "barkeep, activist, waiter" Booker Wright that used to be played at Carnegie corridor and the colourful sonnet cycle "De los angeles Soul Is Dead," concerning the days whilst hip-hop was once growing to be up ("we have been black then, now not but / African American"), remind us that blackness and brownness inform an ongoing tale. A testomony to Young's own--and our collective--experience, Brown offers appealing, sustained harmonies from a poet whose knowledge deepens with time.

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