/blak/ /al-fə bet/
Mitchell L. H. Douglas
Winner of the 2011 Lexi Rudnitsky Editor's Choice Award
The musical, muscular poems in this touching second collection depict the lives of a southern black family after the death of its matriarch. Mitchell L. H. Douglas gives voice to the spirit and ghosts of one community’s America with a mix of fierce conscience and deep tenderness. /blak/ /al-fə bet/ is a volume of unforgettable melody, integrity, and warmth.
“Mitchell Douglas navigates sacred and secular avenues, the age-old aches and new age joys, the uptown and downhome worlds of his people. Like its author, /blak/ /al-fə bet/ is a force of scrutinizing intellect, imagination and soul.”
—Terrance Hayes, author of Lighthead
“This book reaches back to a recent past that now seems far away, as if the speed of the present is causing that past to shrink and dim. Many of the poems capture a world just before it changed, before it became less centered, less vital. And that makes this a book of profound grief—grief for what we miss, and a further grief for what is missing now.”
—Maurice Manning, author of The Common Man
“Every line is threaded with funk and ferocity, conjuring a world that is as relentless and essential as the alphabet."
—Patricia Smith, author of Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah
Mitchell L. H. Douglas is the author of Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem. He is also a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, a Cave Canem fellow, and the poetry editor for PLUCK!: A Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, he resides in Indianapolis, where is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Paperback / $15.95 (Can $17.00) / ISBN 978-089255-421-8 / 80 pages / Poetry
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