Buy Used
$1.71
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: :
Comment: Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy!
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A: Poems Hardcover – June, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0393059076 ISBN-10: 0393059073 Edition: 0th

Used
Price: $1.71
6 New from $91.14 14 Used from $1.71
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$91.14 $1.71
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Year
See the Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 134 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (June 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393059073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393059076
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #752,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The first African-American student to reach the final round of the National Spelling Bee, 13-year-old MacNolia Cox of Akron, Ohio, found short-lived celebrity in 1936; when she died 40 years later, the girl who "was almost/ The national spelling champ" had become a cleaning woman, a grandmother, and "the best damn maid in town." Cox's ambition and her later frustration find incisive shape in this remarkably varied meditation on ambition, racism, discouragement and ennui, where successive pages can bring to mind a handbook of poetic forms (a double sestina, Japanese-inspired syllabics, a blues ghazal and prose poems based on definitions of prepositions), Ann Carson's "TV Men" poems, Rita Dove's Thomas and Beulah and the documentary film Spellbound. Jordan (Rise) begins in Cox's later life, giving voice to her husband, John Montiere, at "The Moment Before He Asks MacNolia Out on a Date," then to MacNolia herself when in 1970 her son dies just after his return from Vietnam. As counterpoints, Jordan intersperses poems about African-Americans who won more lasting public acclaim, among them Richard Pryor, Josephine Baker and the great labor organizer and orator A. Philip Randolph. Jordan's most quotable poems, however, return to the voice of the 13-year-old speller, who "learned the word chiaroscuro/ By rolling it on my tongue// Like cotton candy the color/ Of day and night."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

A deeply humane and highly imaginative sequence. It is a necessary work. -- Edward Hirsch

Full of affection, humor, and ironic recognitions about the life and times of [his] heroine, MacNolia. -- Tom Sleigh

Generous and genuine poems—and many a spirit is raised by the strength of Jordan's confident voice. -- Eleanor Wilner

Jordan can blow a poem the way Coltrane blows a horn, but a little bluer like Miles. -- Joy Harjo

Multi-voiced and multi-faceted...captures an important figure who has been too long obscure. Memorable and haunting. -- Library Journal, 1 April 2004

Storytelling at its best, and poetry taken to new heights. -- E. Ethelbert Miller

What will delight and thrill readers more than the various themes is the collection's brilliant lyricism. (Michael Collier -- Norton

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. Hudson on January 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I am thoroughly impressed that a book of poetry so succinctly captures the life of one person. A. Van Johnson tells the story of 13-year-old MacNolia Cox, the first African American finalist in the National Spelling Bee. Unfortunately MacNolia didn't win; she was given a word not on the official list and this left her profoundly wounded. So much so, that through these poems, one can experience the pain she suffers for 40 years after the contest.

The poems chronicle her life and explore the fact of how her dreams were predicated on and dashed over because of this traumatic event in her life. She had hopes of becoming a doctor, but seemed to have lost her desire after losing the contest. She married a man named John and seemed to exist in obscurity. Her son went to Vietnam but was killed in service so another wound was delivered to MacNolia. She was best described at one point as "The almost national spelling bee champion, almost a doctor, wife, mother, grandmother and the best maid in town." What a wide-ranging description.

Various types and meter of poetry are included in this book. The combination of these varied kinds in a story is notable and remarkable. I would like to read more works of poetry of this caliber in the future.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on July 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A is the story of MacNolia Cox, the first African-American to compete in a national spelling competition. Due to the racial injustice of her time, the judges used a word not on the official list and as a result she lost the competition. Although M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A is a collection of poetry, it is difficult to categorize it strictly as such because it is so much more. This poetic presentation is a history lesson, a documentary, a love story and a tragedy, all in one.
M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A is a very uniquely written book of poetry. It is the first story that I have read in the form of poetry and A. Van Jordan has captured her compelling story with great lyricism. Words alone can not describe the reading experience. This story and the poet's words moved me in unspeakable ways.
Reviewed by Aiesha Flowers
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a wildly ambitious and moving collection, remarkable for its daring impurities: for the way Jordan trespasses the divide between the lyric and the narrative, the personal and the historical, always mixing and cutting the voice of the poet with so many other voices. M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A is a worthy succesor to Rita Dove's Thomas and Beulah and Ellen Bryant Voigt's Kyrie. If, like me, you are exhausted with young poets whose vision extends no further than their own navels, MACNOLIA is an antidote. These are powerful and necessary poems.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I really liked this book of poems for its imagination, its lyrical intensity, and its daring strategy of mixing so many different forms, levels of intensity, into one major book. This book takes a lot of risks in its writing and tells a tremendously interesting and sad story, but there is hope in the end that this story is told.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ginger Sylvie on June 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
yeats' advice to beware of poetry of "passive suffering" rings true with the (feigned) sentiments of this sophomoric effort. whereas Rita Dove's Thomas & Beulah derived from familial grounds, Van Jordan's hodgepodge hangs on its purported subject by a thin thread--unsure of it's direction and executed with a lackluster hand.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?