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Cover for Communion


New & Selected Poems

Primus St John


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Poetry. African American Studies. COMMUNION combines new poems with three out-of-print books that display St. John's mastery of both the brief lyric and longer narrative, such as his acclaimed epic poem Dreamer. In his highly inventive poetic exploration of slavery -- revised and republished here -- his subject is John Newton, the sea captain and slave trader who wrote the hymn Amazing Grace. As St. John has noted elsewhere, I am interested in how people survive the physical and ideological violence intended to subdue and destroy them. In my work I try to be as comfortable with anger as I am with tenderness. One of the five artists who inaugurated the NEA'S Poets in the Schools program, St. John has received wide recognition for his poetry, including a reading on National Public Radio, an Oregon Book Award for Poetry, and a nomination for the American Book Award.

Copper Canyon Press, 9781556591259, 176pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 1999