The first chapter of my book, "A Poetic Trilogy of Bad Men" primarily concentrates on key black historical figures in Kevin Young’s To Repel Ghosts, Tyehimba Jess’s leadbelly, and Adrian Matejka’s The Big Smoke. Those books focus on Jean-Michel Basquiat, Leadbelly, and Jack Johnson, respectively.
Those three volumes have stayed with me for quite some time, always circulating in my mind as exemplars of artistic works inspired by bad men subjects. A rebellious visual artist, a tough, defiant folk singer, a audacious, legendary heavyweight boxer.
Thinking and writing about the books gave me chances to highlight a range of issues pertaining to poets and creativity.
--------------------This entry is part of a series--28 Days & Ways of Thinking about Bad Men & Vulnerable Black Boys.
Note: For a 30% discount, use the promo code 10FEB23 when and if purchasing the book on the University of Virginia Press. (For February 2023 only).
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