Black Crow Dress
Black Crow Dress
Roxane Beth Johnson
33rd Annual Northern California Book Award Nominee
“. . .a stunning collection that evokes a tragic, unjust world; Johnson has a gift for metaphor and narrative that builds throughout.”
—Library Journal, starred review
Available in print.
Roxane Beth Johnson's first book of poetry, Jublilee (Anhinga, 2006), was the winner of the 2005 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. Philip Levine was the judge. She has won an AWP Prize in Poetry and a Pushcart Prize, 2007. She has received scholarships/fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Cave Canem, The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, San Francisco Arts Commission and Vermont Studio Center. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from: The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Image, Callaloo, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Beloit Poetry Journal, Chelsea, ZYZZYVA, The Bitter Oleander, Sentence, and elsewhere. She lives in San Francisco.
“Black Crow Dress is narrative, yet it subverts narrative in its deliberate cultivation of the fragment; its rhythms are those of the blues and the latter’s abbreviated style, and the thump thump of the work song. Black Crow Dress is, indeed, a chorus of voices we have too seldom heard and listened to.”
“. . .Black Crow Dress is a vital addition to any contemporary poetry assortment.”
—Midwest Book Review
“These poems move forward like a novel in verse with a real understanding of the differences between the past and history. Or, as Johnson herself says in the opening poem, ‘Each one is hungry for a voice & music to re-bloom.’ This is a poet the best readers will be reading for the rest of their lives.”
“Roxane Beth Johnson reminds us the poet’s inscrutable work is to listen. Her abiding presence creates a lamplit space to commune with the ghosts of her ensalved ancestors and to breathe them onto the contemporary page. The result is startling: narratives tender and haunting, of an unforgettable intimacy. These voices were in the room with me; I felt them in my body.”
—Jennifer K. Sweeney
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