Ostinato Vamps

Poems

A poet whose angry and extravagant music, so far beyond baroque, has been making itself heard across the divide between West Coast and East, establishment and margins, slams and seminars, across the too-American rift among races and genders (there are more than two of each) for two decades. . . . But her poems do not require an audible voice or physical presence: They perform themselves.
From the jury's citation for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

Ostinato Vamps is Wanda Coleman’s first book of poetry since the demise of her longtime publisher, Black Sparrow Press. It continues and enlarges the traits that have been her hallmark for more than three decades: a fierce adherence to the truth and a language so musical one can almost hear the blues line underneath her stanzas.

Linguistically daring, lyrically breathtaking, stylistically bold, these poems both explore familiar territory and shatter stereotypes. Life is difficult, often unfair, but it belongs to the living, as Coleman reminds us in no uncertain terms. Racing between an earthy eroticism and fatalistic despair, filled with humor and tragedy, these poems are alive. They breathe. They challenge us even as they reward us for seeking the truth.

about the author

Wanda Coleman

Wanda Coleman was a poet and writer from Los Angeles, California. Her numerous poetry collections included Mercurochrome: New Poems, nominated for the National Book Award; Bathwater Wine, winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; Ostinato Vamps; and The World Falls Away. She was the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Emmy Award as a writer for Days of Our Lives.

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Wanda Coleman