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Fantasia for the Man in Blue

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The poet gives words to those who are stifled from speaking. Here is poetry that eloquently addresses systemic racism in society as well as homophobia. Tommye Blount’s poems confront and push back as any brave artist would do in challenging times.

In his debut collection Fantasia for the Man in Blue, Tommye Blount orchestrates a chorus of distinct, unforgettable voices that speak to the experience of the black, queer body as a site of desire and violence. A black man’s late-night encounter with a police officer—the titular “man in blue”—becomes an extended meditation on a dangerous erotic fantasy. The late Luther Vandross, resurrected here in a suite of poems, addresses the contradiction between his public persona and a life spent largely in the closet: “It’s a calling, this hunger / to sing for a love I’m too ashamed to want for myself.” In “Aaron McKinney Cleans His Magnum,” the convicted killer imagines the barrel of the gun he used to bludgeon Matthew Shepard as an “infant’s small mouth” as well as the “sad calculator” that was “built to subtract from and divide a town.” In these and other poems, Blount viscerally captures the experience of the “other” and locates us squarely within these personae.

ISBN-13: 9781945588495

Media Type: Paperback(1)

Publisher: Four Way Books

Publication Date: 03-02-2020

Pages: 152

Product Dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Series: Stahlecker Selections

A Cave Canem alumnus, Tommye Blount is the author of What Are We Not For (Bull City Press, 2016). A graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers, he has been the recipient of scholarships and fellowships from Kresge Arts in Detroit and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Born and raised in Detroit, Blount now lives in the nearby suburb of Novi, Michigan.