We've always had a tradition in America of hounding our artists to death. Look at the list of our great artists, you see a continual history of defeat, frustration, poverty, alcoholism, drug addiction. The best poets of my generation are all suicides.
Janice Gould is one of our best poets. The music of her poetry will delight you, and her gentle courageous accounts of tribal, family, and personal history make this book unforgettable. Doubters and Dreamers is a master-piece.
Patricia Smith is one of the best poets around and has been for a long time. Her Blood Dazzler is full of capacious soul and formal inventiveness: the compassion and artfulness necessary to capture the tragedies and Tragedy of Katrina. Smith is herself a storm of beautiful, frightening talent. Her words will wash you or wash you away. I consider this new book a major literary event.