Ridiculous light Poems

Valencia Robin, 1958-

Book - 2019

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 811.6/Robin Checked In
New York : Persea Books [2019]
Main Author
Valencia Robin, 1958- (author)
Item Description
"A Karen & Michael Braziller Book."
Physical Description
55 pages ; 23 cm
2018 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize Winner.
  • 1.
  • Cathedral
  • Dutch Elm Disease
  • Kitchen Clock
  • Milwaukee, 1968
  • Intermezzo
  • Geese
  • Semester Abroad
  • The Coup
  • Late Night Science
  • Aubade
  • Progress and Reason
  • Naming Yourself
  • Insomnia
  • 2.
  • Fall
  • Oil Pastels
  • Flick
  • Crash
  • Roughing It
  • Old Song
  • Reset
  • Jump
  • Walking Around Kerrytown With K. H.
  • Late Spring
  • Cliché This
  • If My Father Could Talk
  • 3.
  • There Are Signs Everywhere
  • Settling
  • To Milwaukee
  • Game Day
  • There
  • The Hero Chiwara
  • TV Fathers
  • Dear Saturday
  • This poem is not about Facebook
  • Aubade with Sugar Maple
  • In the Future
  • Story of My Life
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
Review by Booklist Review

Poet and visual artist Robin's beautifully produced Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize winner is a stunning debut of notable poems that feel alive and touchable and provide a compelling narrative line. Boisterous and lyrical, Robin addresses the recurring themes of her native Milwaukee, family, and divorce in the voice of a young Black woman describing her life. As in ""Milwaukee, 1968"": I was there the day black stopped / being the worst thing you could call someone. And while some of her youthful poems reference Vietnam and the Black Panther movement, the true terrain of Ridiculous Light is contemporary. The work of this collection is to connect the present to the past, and to do so Robin works with evolving tropes and poetic political expression. Life-changing and uplifting, Robin's collection breaks through like an infestation of pink cotton candy, / begging us to say something. --Mark Eleveld Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

The debut from Robin is suffused with a nostalgia in which the past-reframed and reexamined, and often radiant with joy-seems to be eternally recurring in the present. In "Milwaukee 1968," the speaker recalls a sudden reversal in her childhood, hearing the James Brown lyrics "I'm black and I'm proud" and feeling suddenly empowered by her skin color: "it was as if the sun had come out of the closet, as if the moon was burning her underwear... we marched up and down the street singing ourselves into brand new people." Robin provides a glimpse into the quintessential poet's mind: "Imagine if instead of leaves, the sky fell, imagine it happened at the same time each year; little clumps of blue everywhere." It's the thought process of someone at home in her own thoughts, unabashed about bringing others in, no matter how intimate or silly, such as in an ode to freshly-cut grass that states gleefully, "take me to the bridge and shake me like a rug over my neighbor's black-eyed Susans." Robin's reverence for memory is refreshing in that she neither pines for nor regrets the past; she merely appreciates it for what it offered and how it has informed the present. Whimsical and contemplative, Robin's experience as a visual artist lends the book a flourish of vivid imagery. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved