Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems

Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems

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Author: Wanda Coleman

Publisher: Black Sparrow Press (2020)

Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems is a gathering of 130 of Coleman's poems, spanning four decades and edited and introduced by Terrance Hayes. 

The author of 20 books of poetry and prose, Coleman’s work is focused on racism and the outcast status of living below the poverty line in California, specifically her long-time home, Los Angeles. Her subjects are often controversial and her tone unapologetic. “Coleman frequently writes to illuminate the lives of the underclass and the disenfranchised, the invisible men and women who populate America’s downtown streets after dark, the asylums and waystations, the inner city hospitals and clinics,” Tony Magistrale wrote in Black American Literature Forum. “Wanda Coleman, like Gwendolyn Brooks before her, has much to tell us about what it is like to be a poor Black woman in America.”

“Wanda Coleman’s poems combine manifesto and confession, inner and outer indictment, violence and tenderness, satire and sincerity.”

Terrance Hayes

“One of the greatest poets ever to come out of L.A., she shaped the city’s literary scene like few before her.... Rarely does a poet seem to want to take an already brutally brief form and speed it up. But Coleman’s sonnets are sprints, which is what makes their improvisations, modeled on American blues and jazz, so compelling.”

Dan Chiasson