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Cover image for Bastards of the Reagan era
Title:
Bastards of the Reagan era
Uniform Title:
Poems. Selections
ISBN:
9781935536659
Physical Description:
68 pages ; 23 cm
Contents:
Elephants in the Fall -- Elegy With a City in It -- A Toothless Crackhead Was the Mascot -- At the End of Life, A Secret -- Bastards of the Reagan Era -- Crimson -- For the City that Nearly Broke Me -- For the City that Nearly Broke Me -- Elegy With a RIP Shirt Turning Into the Wind -- For the City that Nearly Broke Me -- For the City that Nearly Broke Me -- For the City that Nearly Broke Me -- For the City that Nearly Broke Me -- Elegy Ending With a Cell Door Closing -- Legacy -- For the City that Nearly Broke Me -- For the City that Nearly Broke Me -- For the City that Nearly Broke Me -- The Invention of Crack -- Elegy Where a City Burns -- For the City that Nearly Broke Me -- For the City that Nearly Broke Me -- What We Know of Horses.
Genre:
Summary:
This book "is a challenge, confronting realities that frame an America often made invisible. Within these poems, we see the city as distant lover, we hear the sound that comes from all / the hurt & want that leads a man to turn his back to the world. We see that and we see each reason why we return to what pains us"--
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Summary

Summary

Bastards of the Reagan Era is a challenge, confronting realities that frame an America often made invisible. Within these poems, we see the city as distant lover, we hear "the sound that comes from all / the hurt & want that leads a man to turn his back to the world." We see that and we see each reason why we return to what pains us.


Author Notes

REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS'S Shahid Reads His Own Palm won the Beatrice Hawley Award. His memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison, received the 2010 NAACP Image Award for nonfiction. He is a Yale Law student.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Betts, whose memoir, A Question of Freedom (2009), won the NAACP Image Award, begins his second poetry collection, a poetic evisceration of societal race norms, with a powerfully stirring love poem for his sons, Miles and Micah. His children's presence is on display early to foreshadow a world that takes shape according to the business of human tragedy and the need for us to become more fully human. The timing for this demanding, candid, resounding, and hopeful volume is perfect, as Betts takes the media to task for its failings, exposes manipulative politics, and turns criminal law upside down. With his own children always at the forefront of his critique, protest, and call for truth and justice, Betts uses heightened language and concentrated rhythms to look back over his own road from prison to writing, activism, and Yale Law School. An inspiring collection: Talk about them dudes on the roof / talking about the Library of Congress. / Talk about never owning a damn thing, / & then talk about us. --Eleveld, Mark Copyright 2015 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Half the poems in this arresting, tough-minded collection from Beatrice Hawley Award winner Betts (Shahid Reads His Own Palm) are titled "For the City That Nearly Broke Me," and the elegiac tone extends to all black men in harsh America: "Many gone to grave: men awed/ by blood, lost in the black/ of all that is awful:/ think crack and aluminum." We think a lot about drugs and guns, street fights and prison and handcuffs as Betts recalls the "black cauldron" of the Eighties and his own burdened life. As he says in the title poem, "I graduated high school numb,/ Already caged with a dead man rattling 'bout my head," and the rattling is heard throughout. VERDICT An extraordinary portrait; read it and weep. © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Elephants in the Fallp. 3
Elegy with a City in Itp. 9
A Toothless Crackhead Was the Mascotp. 12
At the End of Life, A Secretp. 14
Bastards of the Reagan Erap. 15
Crimsonp. 31
For the City That Nearly Broke Mep. 33
For the City That Nearly Broke Mep. 35
Elegy with a RIP Shirt Turning Into the Windp. 37
For the City That Nearly Broke Mep. 38
For the City That Nearly Broke Mep. 39
For the City That Nearly Broke Mep. 40
For the City That Nearly Broke Mep. 42
Elegy Ending With a Cell Door Closingp. 43
Legacyp. 45
For the City That Nearly Broke Mep. 46
For the City That Nearly Broke Mep. 47
For the City That Nearly Broke Mep. 48
The Invention of Crackp. 50
Elegy Where a City Burnsp. 56
For the City That Nearly Broke Mep. 61
For the City That Nearly Broke Mep. 62
What We Know of Horsesp. 63
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