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Roll Deep: Poems 1st Edition
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“Extraordinary...Jackson has created a new poetry of praise.”
- San Francisco Chronicle
“Major Jackson wants art to ‘Blow / back the ordinary / jive of planet Earth,’ and his new poems roil and buckle, skitter and swerve, clot and spill out into the world. Roll Deep is his fourth and best book; his voice seems to have broken loose, allowing for all manner of praise and lament, for observation and meditation, the grim and the goofball, and for outbreaks of pure sorcery, where ‘punctuation is my jury and the moon is my judge.’”
- Mark Doty
“Major Jackson’s fourth collection of poetry, Roll Deep, juxtaposes the physical and the metaphysical, the external and the internal where the landscape and the mind of the poet converge until time bends. The imagery travels through a timely multiplicity, always surefooted and attuned, but never outdistancing the natural truth in this cosmopolitan voice. The poet writes the world he encounters, and imagines, with playfully deep interplay. The music in the language of Roll Deep is seductively straightforward, and each body-brain poem here puts genius squarely on the line.”
- Yusef Komunyakaa
About the Author
Major Jackson is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other honors. He teaches at the University of Vermont and is the poetry editor of the Harvard Review. His first book, Leaving Saturn, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award. Each of his last two collections, Hoops and Holding Company, was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature–Poetry. He lives in South Burlington, Vermont.
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that a poet whose ivy-laden
geography and credentials made me,
let's say, a little nervous at the outset? ...
pulled me in and surprised at so many turns.
Now, it didn't hurt that I recently broke beer mug
with Major Jackson at The Frosted Mug in Oklahoma City,
late on a cold November night after picking him up at the airport.
But, I genuinely, and soberly, mean it when I say that this book
matters to the American conversation. It brings race, and
many other pulsing issues of our time, into the realm
of the eternal Odyssean myth that should never
leave our sides... our culture... or canon.