Condition Red: Essays, Interviews, and Commentaries

Condition Red: Essays, Interviews, and Commentaries

by Yusef Komunyakaa, Radiclani Clytus

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Condition Red collects writing by one of America’s most gifted and revered poets, Yusef Komunyakaa. While themes from his earlier prose collection, Blue Notes, run through Condition Red, this volume expresses a greater sense of urgency about the human condition and the role of the artist. Condition Red includes his powerful letter to Poetry magazine, asserting that “we writers (artists) cannot forget that we are responsible for what we conjure and embrace through language, whether in essays, novels, plays, poems, or songs.” Also included are essays and interviews on: coming home to Bogalusa, Louisiana; the influence of religion on black poetry; language and eroticism; the visual artist Floyd Tunson; and the poets Robert Hayden, Walt Whitman, Clarence Major, and Etheridge Knight. The book features an extended introduction by editor Radiclani Clytus, who concludes that “Condition Red issues readers much more than a critical warning; it reminds us that our innate cultural capacity for language is, and always has been, the sum total of that which defines us.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780472122745
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Publication date: 04/17/2017
Series: Poets On Poetry
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 238
File size: 438 KB

About the Author

Yusef Komunyakaa's most recent book of poetry is The Emperor of Water Clocks. His collection Neon Vernacular received the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in New York City where he is currently Distinguished Senior Poet in New York University’s graduate creative writing program.

Table of Contents

Contents Language in Our Blood / Radiclani Clytus I. Essays Red Erasure An Ode to Raccoon Sorrow Songs and Flying Away: Religious Influence on Black Poetry A Needful Thing Crossroads A Supreme Signifier: Etheridge Knight The Devil’s Secretary The Blue Machinery of Summer The Blood Work of Language Son of Pop: Floyd D. Tunson’s Neo-blues Conundrum Clarence Major’s Cosmopolitan Vision Dark Waters The Method of Ai II. Interviews Collaboration and the Wishbone Three Shades of Past Excursions Getting a Shape The Wolf/Interview Celebration and Confrontation: Walt Whitman III. Commentaries Notes from a Lost Notebook You Made Me More Than a State of Mind Eros, Words A Letter to Poetry Small Illuminations How Poetry Helps People to Live Their Lives Picking a Lock to the Mind-Jail in the City of Asylum A Note from The Best American Erotic Poems The Mission of American Poets and Writers Visiting the 2008 Kolkata Book Fair Rewriting Dante

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