Ostinato Vamps by Wanda Coleman University of Pittsburgh Press, October 2003 $12.95, ISBN 0-822-95833-3
With Ostinato Vamps, Wanda Coleman once again compels audiences to mine the depths "under the dark gnarled word" with her first published volume since the demise of Black Sparrow Press.
Weighty with poems that defy characterization as much as they invite discussion, this raunchy but delicately provocative collection restores faith in the power and pleasure of the word. Employing dramatic lyric and extravagantly ornamental language, Coleman crafts a finely tuned dissonance, a brilliant cacophony that intoxicates as it disrupts.
Full of twists and turns, jagged detours, startling contortions, and "stained and broken teeth," Coleman's explosive reach explores and makes tangible every aspect of the vernacular in urban living--elucidating the meaning-filled contradictions of folks' endeavors to survive and thrive in the face of pervasive hostilities, violent rages, and coreplex and competing desires.
Situating blues aesthetic in jazz composition, Coleman delivers defiant...