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October 2008
88 pages  

5 1/2 x 9
9780822960133
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Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man
Wilson, Ronaldo
Prose poems that profile the interrelationship of the two central characters, looking deeply into their psyches and thoughts of race, class, and identity.

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Ronaldo V. Wilson’s poetry has appeared in Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the 21st Century, Blithe House Quarterly, Callaloo, Chroma, FENCE, Gulf Coast, Harvard Review, Interim, nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, and The Encyclopedia Project. He is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Djerassi, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Vermont Studio Center, and Yaddo. Wilson teaches Creative Writing and African American Poetics at Mount Holyoke College.
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WINNER OF THE 2007 CAVE CANEM POETRY PRIZE Selected by Claudia Rankine Prose poems that profile the interrelationship of the two central characters, looking deeply into their psyches and thoughts of race and class, and identity.
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“Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man is a riveting interrogation of two men in relationship. Ronaldo V. Wilson's prose poems are alternately tough and tender probes into the underbelly of their psyches. With audacity and wit reminiscent of the work of Hilton Als, bell hooks, Frantz Fanon, and James Baldwin, Wilson decodes sociopolitical narratives around race, sexuality, and class. Identity, Wilson seems to say, is only a collection of stories-the ones told about us in battle with the ones we tell ourselves. What we have here is palpable consciousness: a stunning achievement.”—Claudia Rankine

“Ronaldo Wilson writes from deep within the spiraling matrix of race and sexuality. He has a knack for inhabiting the imagination fully, no matter what-the courage to give in to abandon with a rare precision. He is one of the very few younger American poets that I would call visionary. Scary in an exalted sort of way.”—David Rivard

“This book is fierce, it reads like a white-hot flash. But how is it laid out? Beautifully crafted sections of prose poetry stand before us like panels of a surrealist painting-the real turned inside out in dream knowledge, evoking the progress of a young man, black, gay, his love and hate and sexual need, commingling in the raw power of the body, the fleshly heart exposed.”—Meena Alexander

“Ronaldo V. Wilson's Narrative is a beautiful and shocking performance. I'm mesmerized by its Cassandra-like candor. The book's episodes, hovering between the erotic and the traumatic, maintain a bruising, philosophical tension. With narrative vigor and lyric ardor, he cuts to the chase.”—Wayne Koestenbaum

“An exquisite series of meditations about love’s undertow.”—Multicultural Review

“An audacious gem. . . . It relies on a placid, though often humorous, descriptive tone and sophisticated narrative framing. On the surface, a plain, almost artless, language belies the complexity and psychological rip current of the brown boy’s life.”—Southern Review


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