When Rap Spoke Straight to God

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Product Details

$15.95  $14.83
Tin House Books
Publish Date
5.3 X 8.3 X 0.5 inches | 0.25 pounds

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About the Author

Erica Dawson is the author of two collections of poetry: The Small Blades Hurt (Measure Press, 2014), winner of the 2016 Poets' Prize; and, Big-Eyed Afraid (Waywiser Pess, 2007), winner of the 2006 Anthony Hecht Prize. Her work has appeared in three editions of Best American Poetry; the Pushcart Prize XLI: Best of the Small Presses, Resistance, Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems Now, Barrow Street, Bennington Review, Crazyhorse, Harvard Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and numerous other journals and anthologies.
She lives in Tampa, FL and is an Associate Professor at University of Tampa, where she also directs the low-residency MFA program.


Erica Dawson is a poet of verve and nuance, of high learning and pop culture, of a classical music she seems to have invented herself.--Mary Jo Salter
Erica Dawson delivers a short collection of long poems that take our current time and dissect it into beautiful and evocative pieces. Harsh but never hard, unflinching but never violent, she speaks to the experiences of black women, celebrating the best of black culture and lamenting its struggles. Wrapped in and elevated by exquisite religious allusions, Dawson's poetry shines.--World Literature Today
A defiant celebration of Blackness.--Colorlines
[Dawson] is devoted to filling in the cultural blanks . . . Her subject, in a way, is blanks: needs unmet, crimes unacknowledged, thoughts unexplored. By writing, she begins to fill them.--New York Times Magazine
When Rap Spoke Straight to God is utterly transporting. In language both elevated and slangy, saucy and tender, Dawson lovingly weaves the reader around her finger.--Jennifer Egan
When Rap Spoke Straight to God extends the tradition of call and response, of spirituals, hymns, and hip-hop. . . . Dawson's collection is prophetic and vibrant. Every poem feels like a testimony. Each stanza is holy.--Signature Reads