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Magic City
Yusef Komunyakaa

Wesleyan Poetry Series

1992 • 68 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Poetry / African-American Studies

$14.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-1208-6

An award-winning poet evokes his childhood in Louisiana.

Komunyakaa vividly evokes his childhood in Bogalusa, Louisiana, once a center of Klan activity, and later a focus of Civil Rights efforts. He portrays a child’s dawning awareness of the natural and social order around him, rhythms of life in the community, the constant struggle for survival in the face of poverty and racism, the adolescent’s awakening sexuality, the beginnings of the poet’s awareness of his life and community as it exists in the context of history, and his emerging understanding of his own identity.

Reviews / Endorsements

“His finest book to date—the most ambitious, the richest in writing and psychological drama, the most emotionally and intellectually demanding. It feels as though he has raised this book out of the darkest regions of his art and life”—Sherod Santos

“Magic City celebrates the splendors of imagination’s birth in childhood. We’re in a completely new poetic universe—the natal world of Bogaloosa, Louisiana with its voodoo and gullah songs, worries about the Klan, zigzag lightning bugs, Mardi Gras flambeaus, pigweed, and chain-gangs by the roadside. Komunyakaa gives to these, his firstnesses, savoring poetic homages that float like butterflies, sting like bees. What language, what pain, what beauty.”—Garrett Hongo


Top 25 Books of the Year Voice Literary Supplement (1992) Commendation

Author Photo

YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA is a professor in the creative writing department at New York University. He has won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and many other awards for poetic achievement, including the 2001 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the 2004 Shelley Memorial Award, the Hanes Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the Levinson Prize from Poetry Magazine, and the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:53:56 -0500