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Simultaneously accessible and daring, these short, fiery verses describe with sorrow and passion the Crescent City just before, during and immediately after Katrina. They describe it from startling points of view—one series of poems takes the vantage point of Luther B, a hardy abandoned dog. Another set speaks for the hurricane itself: every woman begins as weather, Katrina warns, sips slow thunder, knows her hips. Other speakers include the spirit of Voodoo, a nursing home patient, a rapist, George W. Bush and a drag queen whose good humor helps her survive: This damned trod spells ruin for her party pumps. Known now as a poet of both the page and stage, Smith (Teahouse of the Almighty) was present at the creation of the poetry slam, in 1980s Chicago. Her command of the spoken voice gives her work both speed and pathos. She benefits, too, from her range of forms: rhymed sonnet, sestina, alphabet poem, long- and short-lined, and fragmentary free verse. This book will stand out among literary records of Katrina's devastation. (Sept.)
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In her fifth collection, Smith, a poetry-slam champion and and recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, presents towering testament to the tragedy of New Orleans before, during, and after Katrina. Her ear for voice and gift for persona poems make for a complex, colloquial, thought-provoking, and nearly minute-to-minute account of the catastrophe that captures the power of nature and the failure of leadership. Smith’s observations are painstakingly revealing and unabashedly critical, especially juxtaposed against the beauty of her terse free verse and formal sestina and rhymed sonnets. Following Teahouse of the Almighty (2006), this accomplished work reaffirms her position as one of American’s strongest and most clarion poetic voices. As Smith writes of Katrina, so to it might be said of this book, “Never has there been / a wind like this. Its throaty / howl has memorized / my name. And it calls, and it / calls, and lamb to ax, I come.” --Mark EleveldSee all Editorial Reviews
One of the best works of poetry published in the last twenty years, "Blood Dazzler" introduces the reader to an unforgettable cast of characters living through - some... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Local Historian
Potent as the storm about which it is written. Every gut-wrenching page is worth it. For anyone who has known New Orleans, you owe it to her to read this.Published 7 months ago by J. Canzona
Classic poetry book. Really doesn't get better. Amazing imagery, great stories. Characters.
This is a masterwork of one of the greatest poets in America. Read more
Had to get it for a class but the book is awesome. Smith is deep. Love this book buy itPublished 20 months ago by F. R.
I found Blood Dazzler a great read.I like how the storm was introduced. She then introduce the reader to New Orleans and a few individual characters and a dog within the city. Read morePublished 22 months ago by D. Davis
A book of poetry inspired by hurricane Katrina, some by the hurricane herself, some by victims. There were several that touched me and several that I thought were powerful. Read morePublished on July 23, 2013 by Brenda
I bought this for a class, but was very pleasantly surprised. As someone who visited New Orleans after Katrina, I have only a small idea of what it must have been like for those... Read morePublished on July 6, 2013 by Jennifer Vazquez
This book of poetry is for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the trauma and loss experienced by those directly impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Read morePublished on April 22, 2013 by Denise Walden Greene