In this Book

summary

In her first book-length collection of poetry, Crystal Williams utilizes memory and music as she lyrically weaves her way through American culture, pointing to the ways in which alienation, loss, and sensed "otherness" are corollaries of recent phenomena. Williams writes about being adopted by an interracial couple, a jazz pianist/Ford Foundry worker and a school psychologist, and how that has affected her development as an African American woman. She tries to work out the answers to many difficult questions: in what way do African American artists define themselves? What do they owe the culture and what does it owe them? To what extent does our combined national memory inform our individual selves? These poems are steeped in the black literary tradition. They are brimming over with the oral tradition that Williams perfected while spending years on the poetry "slam" circuit. This, combined with her musical upbringing, give the collection not only a sense of urgency, but also a rhythm, a breath all its own. Kin tackles not only racial issues, but also the troubling realities of violent acts that can occur, especially in our inner cities. But more importantly, the landscape that Williams creates offers readers an alternative to the racial/political dichotomy in which we all live. Overall, the book resonates with a message of reconciliation that will leave the reader uplifted.

 

Table of Contents

  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. rhythm
  2. p. xiii
  1. For the Woman Who Didn’t Know My Name
  2. p. 1
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  1. music: one
  2. p. 3
  1. The Famous Door
  2. p. 5
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  1. Prayer
  2. pp. 6-7
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  1. The Masked Woman
  2. pp. 8-9
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  1. At 25, I Have Already Begun to Like Lou Rawls
  2. pp. 10-11
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  1. Yea, Though I Walk
  2. pp. 12-13
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  1. Order of Adoption in the Matter of Minor #44478
  2. pp. 14-15
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  1. music: two
  2. p. 17
  1. Rites of Passage
  2. pp. 19-20
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  1. Poem for My Sisters
  2. p. 21
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  1. A,
  2. pp. 22-23
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  1. Hey A, (Mr. Sausage Lips)
  2. pp. 24-25
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  1. Johnny
  2. pp. 26-27
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  1. Dreadlock
  2. p. 28
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  1. Exercise in Tension or Truth or Whatever
  2. pp. 29-30
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  1. “The Cholesterol Can Make You Stupid”
  2. p. 31
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  1. Collard Folk
  2. pp. 32-33
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  1. dance
  2. p. 35
  1. Dr
  2. pp. 37-38
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  1. Benjamin
  2. pp. 39-40
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  1. The Prospect of Tomi-Terre
  2. pp. 41-42
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  1. Curating the Boogie Down
  2. pp. 43-44
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  1. Tour Guiding Our Nation’s Capital
  2. p. 45
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  1. Sunday Dinner at Miss Rayella’s
  2. pp. 46-47
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  1. Tower
  2. p. 48
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  1. “It Wasn’t Not Funny”
  2. pp. 49-50
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  1. Refrigerator Mouth
  2. p. 51
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  1. As On Every Saturday at 12
  2. pp. 52-53
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  1. John Edgar Wideman, Apologies
  2. pp. 54-55
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  1. The First Time I Saw Flo-Jo
  2. pp. 56-57
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  1. Once Upon a Time
  2. pp. 58-61
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  1. Nora
  2. p. 62
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  1. Zawadi
  2. pp. 63-64
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  1. oo-bop-she-bam
  2. p. 65
  1. In Search of Aunt Jemima
  2. pp. 67-69
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  1. Ode of the Hoodoo Woman
  2. pp. 70-73
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  1. Breeze Driftin’ On By
  2. pp. 74-75
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  1. Notes
  2. p. 76
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  1. About the Author
  2. p. 77
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780870139680
Related ISBN
9780870135484
MARC Record
OCLC
606258965
Pages
88
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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