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Product Details
$14.95  $13.90
Black Sparrow Press
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.9 X 0.9 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

Wanda Coleman--poet, storyteller and journalist--was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. Coleman was awarded the prestigious 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for Bathwater Wine from the American Academy of Poets, becoming the first African-American woman to ever win the prize, and was a bronze-medal finalist for the 2001 National Book Award for Poetry for Mercurochrome. In 2020, poet Terrance Hayes edited and introduced a selection of her work, Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems, the first new collection of her work since her death in 2013.


The work of Wanda Coleman from Black Sparrow Press. "Wanda Coleman is not just wickedly wise, she is transcendent."--The Washington Post

Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems

One of the year's best-- The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the California Independent Bookseller Alliance

"These poems are wildly fun and inventive . . . and frequently hilarious; they seem to cover every human experience and emotion."--New York Times

"Fantastically entertaining and deeply engaging...potent distillations of creative rage, social critique, and subversive wit."--Washington Post

"Wanda Coleman's peerless Wicked Enchantment has words to crack you open and heal you where it counts--hateful and hilarious, heartbroke and hellbent."--Mary Karr

Required Reading--Bustle

"As a poet, mother, Los Angeles native, black woman, essayist, and more, Wanda Coleman is a master of honesty. Her writing is an artifact of a life defined by brilliance, outspokenness, and survival."--Slice


"Wanda Coleman's poetry stings, stains, and ultimately helps heal wounds like the old-fashioned mercurochrome of her title. No easy remedy for the lacerating American concerns of racism and gender bias, Coleman's poetry transforms pain into empathy. . . these searing, soaring poems challenge us to repair the fractures of human difference, and feel what it is to be made whole again."--The National Book Award Poetry Judges 2001, Stanley Plumly, Chair

Bathwater Wine

"A poet whose angry and extravagant music, so far beyond baroque, has been making itself heard across the divide between West Coast and East, establishment and margins, slams and seminars, across the too-American rift among races and genders." --from the jury's citation for the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

Hand Dance

"Coleman's poems are an act of liberation, meant to be experienced as something almost physical, like a punch or a whipping . . . she wants her language to express anger, to incite anger, and to shake all those who read it out of their complacency."--The Nation


"Hard, brilliant strokes shot through with street music . . ."--Booklist

Native in a Strange Land: Trials & Tremors

"Her extraordinary eye for detail and personal perspective universalizes her experience and makes her observations both trenchant and reliable." --Publisher's Weekly

The Riot Inside Me: More Trial and Tremors

"Coleman is best known for her 'warrior voice.' [But her] voice too can weep elegiac, summoning memories of childhood's neighborhoods - her South L.A.'s wild-frond palms, the smog-smear of pre-ecology consciousness. Her voice hits notes as desperate as Billie Holiday's tours of sorrow's more desolate stretches. But it can also land a wily punch line as solid as that of a stand-up comic."--Los Angeles Times

War of Eyes

"These are extraordinary stories, told in a powerful voice. This is the painful reality of the powerlessness that is too often shrouded in bureaucratic anonymity--a probation number, a welfare case number. Coleman, with her fine poet's eye and strong intense language, brings to life their somber existences."--Los Angeles Times Book Review, front page