Black Swan

This is simply a terrific book. Reading it brings heartbreak and pleasure.
Marilyn Nelson
Winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize

Winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Prize

Selected by Marilyn Nelson

Finalist, 2003 Paterson Poetry Prize

“Imagine Leda black—” begins Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon’s exciting new collection of poems. Mixing vernacular language with classical mythology, modern struggles with Biblical trials, she gives voice to silenced women past and present.

In Van Clief-Stefanon’s powerful voice, last night’s angry words “puffed / into the dark room like steam / punching through the thick surface / of cooking grits.” She remembers a child’s innocence “lost / in the house where I learned the red rug / against my chest, my knees / my tongue, . . . .” Black Swan is filled with pain, loss, hope, and the promise of salvation.

72 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

November, 2002

isbn : 9780822957874

about the author

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon is assistant professor of English at Cornell University. She is the author of the poetry collection Black Swan, winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and coauthor, with Elizabeth Alexander, of the chapbook Poems in Conversation and a Conversation. Her poems have appeared in African American Review, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Rattapallax, Shenandoah, and in several anthologies, including Bum Rush the Page and Role Call.

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Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon