The Red Light was My Mind

Front Cover
Texas Review Press, 2007 - Poetry - 57 pages
Inspired by the culture, music, history and mythology of the Blues, The Red Light Was My Mind captures the tone, rhythms, sounds, images, and myths of the Mississippi Blues. Son House, Charlie Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Peetie Wheatstraw, Billie Holiday, Jack Johnson, and a cast of entirely fictitious and mythical figures embody the region's legendary past and its often harsh present. These stories wind through a number of related narrative threads, interlaced with poems reflecting a myriad of Blues forms: songs, hollers, monologues, folktales, chants, spells, and sermons. Love, death, evil, sorrow, violence, and dancing fill the Blues and inhabit these poems.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


The Devil Prefers the Blues1
Boys Haircut Seen at a Street Party14
Howl for Holiday27
Travelin Riverside Hobo Blues37
Leroys Women50

About the author (2007)

GARY CHARLES WILKENS, born in South Carolina and raised in North Carolina and Arkansas, recently graduated with a master's degree from Sam Houston State University, where he now teaches as a member of the adjunct faculty. He has attended a number of conferences, where he presented his poetry, and his poems have appeared widely in such journals as Oklahoma Review, Poetry Southeast, and The Texas Review.

Bibliographic information