Angela Jackson brings her remarkable linguistic and poetic gifts to the articulation of African-American experience. The recurrent motif of the spider, which she presents as both creator and predator, demonstrates her deliberate reshaping of myth in the context of contemporary human experience. Informed by African-American speech and poetic traditions, yet uniquely her own, these poems display Jackson's stylistic grace, her exuberance and vitality of spirit, and her emotional sensitivity and psychological insight.
Acknolwedgments Lily Looking for a Redcap Journal Entry: August 31, 1983 Transformable Prophecy The Spider Speaks on the Need for Solidarity Arachnia: Her Side of the Story The Special Spider Empty Parlor Blues Prophet of the Ark Why the Dark Ones Tremble Billie in Silk In Her Solitude: The Inca Divining Spider Work: African-American Woman Guild Conjugal Bed: African-American Woman Guild Fannie (of Fannie Lou Hamer) I Sit and Sew Her Beatitude Black Widow The Problem in the Closet Dementia Dexter ALYO The Spider Tells Her Horror Stories Sexual Harassment Art: African-American Woman Guild, or The Spider Explains Her Art to the Blind Sweatshop of the Singing Hosts The War Chant of the Architect Totem: African-American Woman Guild RockandRoll Monster: Down Home Blues Goes Hollywood The Institutional Spider The Itsy-Bitsy Spider Climbs and Analyzes The Dung Spider The Aztec Spider: A Terrible Woman Tarantula Revolts against the Gravedigging Wasp Arachnophobia 1992 Sermon of the Middle-Aged Revolutionary Spider The Cobweb Boat of the Columbia Spider Scientists Gave a Group of Spiders LSD and Watched Them While They Wove Aberrant, against the Patterns of Nature Spider Divine (of the Cameroons) Lust: African-American Woman Guild The Trick Is Not to Think: On the Art of Ballooning The Skater Blessing Happily Ever After Peace, Be Still
ANGELA JACKSON is a Chicago poet, playwright, and novelist. She was named Illinois Poet Laureate in 2020. She has received numerous honors for both fiction and poetry, including the Pushcart Prize and the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Illinois Arts Council. Her poetry collection, All These Roads Be Luminous, was nominated for the National Book Award, and her debut novel, Where I Must Go, won the American Book Award. In addition to Comfort Stew, Jackson has written three other plays: Witness!, Shango Diaspora: An African-American Myth of Womanhood and Love, and Lightfoot: The Crystal Stair.
"Hopefully this large collection will earn for Angela Jackson the extensive enthusiasm she has long deserved. She is a poet, novelist, and playwright who has known, for long, what is right for her attention and scrupulous investigation." —Gwendolyn Brooks
"This is an impressive and intelligent book that makes my skin crawl." —Harvard Review
"Jackson's ear is keen; her memory of traditions is crystal clear." —Feminist Bookstore News
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