From the title to the very end, this National Book Award finalist is one of the most unique and powerful pieces I’ve ever read. It’s considered poetry, but I’m not at all certain that that label captures what takes place in these 150 pages. There is beautiful imagery, there is narrative, there is research, there are interviews. It’s the first poetry book that I would call a page-turner. It’s set against the backdrop of a Civil Rights event I’ve never encountered in any books, the 1969 March Against Fear.
The image of the students being detained in a swimming pool will haunt me for a long while.
Wright writes, “Whoever rides into the scene changes it” (116). She means her mentor, V, the protagonist of this poem. But the same could be said of Wright herself.
This is a must read.