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Pulitzer 2017 · Poetry
Tyehimba Jess
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Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in PoetryWinner of the 2017 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in PoetryWinner of the 2017 Book Award from the Society of Midland Authors for Poetry2016 National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for poetry2017 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award finalist2017 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award finalistNamed a top poetry book of spring 2016 by Library JournalPart fact, part fiction, Tyehimba Jess's much anticipated second book weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them. So, while I lead this choir, I still find thatI'm being led...I'm a missionarymending my faith in the midst of this flock...I toil in their fields of praise. When folks seethese freedmen stand and sing, they hear their Godspeak in tongues. These nine dark mouths sing shelter;they echo a hymn's haven from slavery's weather.Detroit native Tyehimba Jess' first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, has received fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team. He exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TEDxNashville Conference. Jess is an Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island.




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