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  • Wanda Coleman: winner of the Poetry Society of America’s 2012 Shelley Memorial Award!

Although deep friendship between women seems to be nearly a cliché in fiction, Wanda Coleman has managed to capture it in a fresh way . . . Her narrator, Tamala, is a white girl from the suburbs who recognizes Erlene, an African American, as a soul-mate in a confusing world of racial identity, romantic travails, and spiritual bankruptcy. These friends suffer together through indignity, discrimination, abuse, [and] breathless highs and lows. They are not always heroes . . . but they attempt to live their beliefs and honor their friendship as best they can, making them two of the most believable characters you’d ever wish to have as real friends.
Rain Taxi

Wanda Coleman—poet, short story writer, novelist, and essayist—was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. Coleman was awarded the prestigious 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for Bathwater Wine from the American Academy of Poets, becoming the first African-American woman to ever win the prize, and was a bronze-medal finalist for the 2001 National Book Award for Poetry for MercurochromeWicked Enchantment: Selected Poems was the first new collection of her work since her death in 2013.

+ Six poets came together with Black Sparrow Press to celebrate the publication of Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems. Mahogany L. Browne, Terrance Hayes, Dorothea Lasky, Rachel McKibbens, Patricia Smith, and Amber Tamblyn read from, and discuss, Coleman’s influential work. | Watch

+ Poetry Foundation on Wanda Coleman | Read
+ “Remembering Wanda Coleman” Los Angeles Times | Read
+ Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award | Read
+ “Remembering Wanda Coleman” by Amber Tamblyn | Read
+ Obituary: Wanda Coleman Los Angeles Times | Read

VIEW (Poems from Wicked Enchantment)
+ “I Live for My Car” | Watch
+ “Wanda Why Aren’t You Dead” | Watch
+ “They Came Knocking On My Door at 7 AM” | Watch

+ Wanda Coleman Interviewed (2002) | Listen