When Rap Spoke Straight To God

September 4, 2018|
When Rap Spoke Straight To God by Erica Dawson
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A book-length poem navigating belief, black lives, the tragedies of Trump, and the boundaries of being a woman.

"When Rap Spoke Straight to God is utterly transporting. In language both elevated and slangy, saucy and tender, Dawson lovingly weaves the reader around her finger.” —Jennifer Egan

When Rap Spoke Straight to God isn’t sacred or profane, but a chorus joined in a single soliloquy, demanding to be heard. There’s Wu-Tang and Mary Magdelene with a foot fetish, Lil’ Kim and a self-loving Lilith. Slurs, catcalls, verses, erasures—Dawson asks readers, “Just how far is it to nigger?” Both grounded and transcendent, the book is reality and possibility. Dawson’s work has always been raw; but, When Rap Spoke Straight to God is as blunt as the answer to that earlier question: “Here.” Sometimes abrasive and often abraded, Dawson doesn’t flinch.  

A mix of traditional forms where sonnets mash up with sestinas morphing to heroic couplets, When Rap Spoke Straight to God insists that while you may recognize parts of the poem’s world, you can’t anticipate how it will evolve.   

With a literal exodus of light in the book’s final moments, When Rap Spoke Straight to God is a lament for and a celebration of blackness.  It’s never depression; it’s defiance—a persistent resistance. In this book, like Wu-Tang says, the marginalized “ain’t nothing to f--- with.”

Erica Dawson is the author of two collections of poetry:The Small Blades Hurt (Measure Press, 2014), winner of the 2016 Poets’ Prize; and, Big-Eyed Afraid (Waywiser Pess, 2007), winner of the 2006 Anthony Hecht Prize. Her work has appeared in three editions of Best American Poetry; the Pushcart Prize XLI: Bes...
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Title:When Rap Spoke Straight To GodFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:70 pages, 8.5 X 5.5 X 0.22 inShipping dimensions:70 pages, 8.5 X 5.5 X 0.22 inPublished:September 4, 2018Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1947793039

ISBN - 13:9781947793033

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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