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A War of Eyes

A War of Eyes

and Other Stories

by Wanda Coleman

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Product Details

Black Sparrow Press

ISBN: 978-0-87685-735-7
Pages: 200
Size: 5.88" x 8.98"
Published: July 1988
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Wanda Coleman: winner of the Poetry Society of America's 2012 Shelley Memorial Award!

In this extraordinary collection of short stories, Wanda Coleman, a poet who grew up in the Watts area of Los Angeles, turns an eye on lives that "mainstream" America wishes would somehow go away. She chronicles the not-so-quiet desperation of the poor and black urban dweller and gives voice to their unending struggle to keep afloat in a hard-scrabble environment circumscribed by racism and poverty.

With surgical precision, she cuts through the many-layered myths and mysteries that make up the American Dream and lays open the lives of the underclass. She plunges in deeply and plucks from this subterranean stream a record of pain and the humor and grace necessary for survival.

These are extraordinary stories, told in a powerful voice. This is the painful reality of the powerlessness that is too often shrouded in bureaucratic anonymity—a probation number, a welfare case number. Coleman, with her fine poet's eye and strong intense language, brings to life their somber existences. —Los Angeles Times Book Review, front page
Wanda Coleman

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 Mercurochrome. Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems was the first new collection of her work since her death in 2013.