Hurrah! Major Jackson's outstanding 2006 collection HOOPS is one of the poetry finalists for the NAACP Image Awards -- awards that honor works in the arts creating and fostering diversity.
HOOPS contains strongly formalist narrative work by the Burlington, Vermont, poet and UVM professor, who also has a fellowship this year at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard in Cambridge, MA. The first section of HOOPS draws heavily on Jackson's North Philadelphia school years; the second is a powerful sequence that continues his "Urban Renewal" sequence launched in the earlier collection LEAVING SATURN; and the finale, thirteen poems long, is his "Letter to Brooks" -- Gwendolyn, who gave him his first public reading, and made sure he received a check for it, in an act of magical generosity across poetic generations.
The other nominees in poetry include:
Celebrations: Rituals of Peace & Prayer -- Maya Angelou
Jazz -- Walter Dean Myers
We Speak Your Names -- Pearl Cleage
Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets & Emcees -- DuEwa Frazier, ed.
To learn more about the awards, visit: www.naacpimageawards.net/imageawards38.html
And for a review of HOOPS, see www.KingdomBks.com