Olio by Tyehimba Jess

Into the Wild

Read Olio Online Free - Part fact, part fiction, Tyehimba Jess's much anticipated second book weaves sonnet, song, and narrative to examine the lives of mostly unrecorded African American performers directly before and after the Civil War up to World War I. Olio is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted, and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them.

So, while I lead this choir, I still find that
I'm being led…I'm a missionary
mending my faith in the midst of this flock…
I toil in their fields of praise. When folks see
these freedmen stand and sing, they hear their God
speak in tongues. These nine dark mouths sing shelter;
they echo a hymn's haven from slavery's weather.

Detroit native Tyehimba Jess' first book of poetry, leadbelly, was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, has received fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team. He exhibited his poetry at the 2011 TEDxNashville Conference. Jess is an Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island.

Title : Olio
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1940696224
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 pages


Brina rated it ★★★★★

July 12, 2017

Olio can signify a mishmash of elements or variety of musical performance acts. In the case of Tyehimba Jess' ambitious volume of poetry which has won him the 2017 Pulitzer, Olio is miscellaneous recollections, which Jess has pieced together to give a voice to the early African American performer...

Steven rated it ★★★★★

May 20, 2016

This is an overwhelming book. Blind Boone & Edmonia Lewis are two of the most powerful figures in narrative prose or poetry of the last hundred years. Boone's inability to play Joplin's final outpouring note for note is a gut-wrenching conceit for the inability to fully empathize with another...

Peter rated it ★★★★★

August 19, 2016

History is important, but it takes poetry to bring the facts to life, especially when there are few details and no recordings. How do you revive the musical birth of a nation when even wax cylinders weren’t wasted in preserving the songs of the black musicians? All we have are ministerial shows...

David rated it ★★★★★

May 02, 2017

"What part of me is mine that was not mined from the mind of poets, artists rewriting the past blow by blow till it's pulverized past the barely recognizable? I was born when I was written, then hammered out of a mountain." This is one of the best books I have ever read. Apart from being one of the most...

Jen rated it ★★★★★

September 01, 2017

I want to read this book again. I have nothing but good things to say about it. The creativity was so great. This book made me feel emotional. There was never a dull moment. I want to read this book again.

Weston rated it ★★★★★

May 13, 2017

Olio is a marvel of contemporary American poetry. It's extraordinarily hard to say more than that in a way that faithfully and comprehensively covers all that there is in this book. Before even thinking of the content in any substantive way, Olio marks itself in its form as an extremely ambitious,...

John rated it ★★★★★

May 23, 2017

This is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read. It is almost historical fiction. It is almost an epic of a people. It is a collection of stylistic performances broad in range and consistent in execution. If it suffers from anything, I think putting the historical material at the end hu...

Mary rated it ★★★★★

September 17, 2017

Usually, I hate modern poetry. I find it self-indulgent and undisciplined. This was the antithesis of that. It was astounding, it was magical, it was soulful. In many ways, it was mind-blowing.

Jenny rated it ★★★★★

October 26, 2017

This is really an amazing and complex book. It is a fascinating companion to The Underground Rail Road by Colson Whitehead. The technical complexity of some of the poems is fascinating and I could read them over and over again. The insights into the stories of slaves and people who left slavery b...

Meg rated it ★★★★★

July 29, 2016

Tyehimba Jess has created a masterpiece of historical literature through syncopation and musicality of language that blows the mind! The greatest musicians and vaudevillians: slaves in early 19th century-early 20th century: John William "Blind" Boone, Henry "Box" Brown, Paul Laurence Dunbar, The...

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