Blood Dazzler: Poems

Front Cover
Coffee House Press, 2008 - Poetry - 77 pages
25 Reviews

In minute-by-minute detail, Patricia Smith tracks Hurricane Katrina as it transforms into a full-blown mistress of destruction. From August 23, 2005, the day Tropical Depression Twelve developed, through August 28 when it became a Category Five storm with its “scarlet glare fixed on the trembling crescent,” to the heartbreaking aftermath, these poems evoke the horror that unfolded in New Orleans as America watched it on television.

Assuming the voices of flailing politicians, the dying, their survivors, and the voice of the hurricane itself, Smith follows the woefully inadequate relief effort and stands witness to families held captive on rooftops and in the Superdome. She gives voice to the thirty-four nursing home residents who drowned in St. Bernard Parish and recalls the day after their deaths when George W. Bush accompanied country singer Mark Willis on guitar:

The cowboy grins through the terrible din,
***
And in the Ninth, a choking woman wails
Look like this country done left us for dead.

An unforgettable reminder that poetry can still be “news that stays news,” Blood Dazzler is a necessary step toward national healing.

Patricia Smith is the author of four previous collections of poetry, including Teahouse of the Almighty, winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize. A record-setting, national poetry slam champion, she was featured in the film Slamnation, on the HBO series Def Poetry Jam, and is a frequent contributor to Harriet, the Poetry Foundation's blog. Visit her website at www.wordwoman.ws.

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Review: Blood Dazzler

User Review  - R. MonaLeza - Goodreads

Excellent Read full review

Review: Blood Dazzler

User Review  - Helen - Goodreads

Patricia Smith's Blood Dazzler does everything you'd want a book of poetry about Hurricane Katrina to be. It's gruesome and honest, but there's also a touch of the wit and humor in the darkness that ... Read full review

Contents

jo Wont Be but a Minute
10
Ghazal
16
Gettin His Twang
22
Michael Brown
29
Loot
35
The President Flies Over
36
Power and Domination
37
Tankas
38
Healing
59
6o Looking for Bodies
60
Develop Psychic Powers
62
Buried
63
Back Home
65
Remembering to Sing
66
What Betsy Has to
67
Luther B Ascends
69

4 Superdome
40
4i Dream Lover
41
Enemy Be Gone
43
Ms Thang Sloshes in the Direction of Home
44
Ethels Sestina
45
Didnt Need No Music Neither
47
Thankful
48
58 Their Savior Was
58
7 Rebuilding
70
Golden Rule Days
71
Give Me My Name
74
Siblings
75
Katrina
76
Spiritual Cleansing and Blessing
77
Copyright

About the author (2008)

Patricia Smith is the author of four previous collections of poetry, including Teahouse of the Almighty, winner of the 2007 Hurston / Wright Legacy Award. A record-setting, four-time national poetry slam champion, she was featured in the film Slamnation, on the HBO series Def Poetry Jam, and is a frequent contributor to Harriet, the Poetry Foundation's web log.

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