Do poets' surroundings shape their viewpoint and work? Abandon Automobile seeks to address this question by bringing together the work of more than one hundred of Detroit's most acclaimed and accessible poets. Writing about location as if it were a living entity, these poets visualize Detroit as a variety of complex archetypes-the city becomes a savior, a beast, a nurturing mother, a seductress, a friend, an enemy. Like the city itself, the poetry represented is diverse and the poems are by turns tender, forceful, introspective, and vital. In the introduction to the volume, Melba Joyce Boyd and M. L. Liebler show how Detroit's poetry scene has changed over the years to embrace political movements and cultural transformations. Readers will find that one doesn't need to be a Detroit native to enjoy the many themes of this anthology. The exciting range of voices represented in this collection will appeal to anyone interested in poetry, regional literature, and urban life.
Melba Joyce Boyd is the chair of the Department of Africana Studies at Wayne State University. She is the author of five books of poetry, including Song for Maya (Broadside Press/Detroit River Press, 1983), The Inventory of Black Roses (Past Tents Press, 1989), and Letters to Ch? (Ridgeway Press, 1996), and the author of Discarded Legacy: Politics and Poetics in the Life of Frances E. W. Harper, 1825-1911 (Wayne State University Press, 1994).
M. L. Liebler, a faculty member at Wayne State University and founding director of the YMCA National Writer's Voice Project of Metro Detroit, is author of several books of poetry, including Written in Rain (Tebot Bach Press, 2000), and Stripping the Adult Century Bare (Viet Nam Generation Press, 1995).
Abandon Automobile: Detroit City Poetry 2001 is an exciting and necessary addition to the growing body of working-class literature with all its energy and vitality, its industrial-strength grit, its clarity and honesty. These poems are so alive, they practically leap off the page. This book is not to be missed."--Maria Mazziotti Gillan "Paterson Poetry Center, Passaic Community College " The middle of our country, in and around Detroit, is a place that is alive and animated with poets. Here is a rich and diverse collection of poetry-so much of the highest quality-equal to what any city, state, or even nation, could provide. This is a poetry of resistance and humanity, a testament to a locale which also achieves universal appeal."-Barry Wallenstein, City College of New York--Barry Wallenstein "City College of New York "