From Publishers Weekly
The author of 14 books of poems, including the selected Mad Dogs of Trieste (2000), Vega is the director of Incisions/Arts, a program that brings writers into prisons to lead poetry workshops. Some of the poems in this volume were written at the Eastern Correctional Facility in Napanoch, New York: they have the immediacy and directness of lineated prose, as in a poem on so-called "Driving While Black" legislation: "Police/ largely/ oppose the bill/ insisting it would/ create an undue burden/ on law enforcement officers/ and wouldn't necessarily prove a thing." Other poems meditate on relationships, writerly and otherwise, or take stock of a difficult writing life (one ends: "I ain't dead yet"). This book doesn't contain Vega's strongest work, but it serves as kind of poetic diary of justice and of witness as sought through language. In a poem from the title section, which ends the book, the speaker sums up the scale at which it happens: "I'm reading your poems/ and a huge ramshackle building appears, the light from a hundred candles/ spills out on the snow."
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"Honest, passionate, and exhilarating, Janine Pommy Vega brings her own voice to the Beat pilgrimage. She is changed by her journey through the world, and she changes the world through her words." --American Book Review