xi, 51 pages ; 22 cm.
Includes bibliographical references.
""Blue in Green"is a book that is equal parts subtle intelligence and generosity of heart. In it, Chiyuma Elliott creates a unique voice that returns again and again to the question of what we expect from one another, and how that question is transformed instead into a question of what we owe each other. This notion of reversal plays out in the construction of the poems where, unlike so many of her contemporaries who come to poetry through prose techniques, Elliott's voice emerges through a complex shifting of phrase and syntax between lines or in mid-phrase. We don't, for example, get a straight-forward story of what caused the trauma of, say, cancer or abuse; rather, we hear impressions, half-formed ideas that rise and fall in the speaker's voice as it moves through the nature of the trauma, and experience the effects of the disorder that is the center of our everyday relationships through speech. Put another way: when a crisis overshadows the ordinary, disrupting the collective labor that we pursue together in love, friendship, and work, the hardship itself, in a kind of role-reversal, becomes a collaborator, necessitating new conceptions of relationships and proposing new modes of engagement, different rules of exchange. The book's forms also reflect this transformed idea of reciprocity: ekphrastic poems, normally reserved for visual artworks, instead describe modern jazz songs (including the title poem); letters and letter fragments are written to no one in particular, to the planet, to the universe; and highly allusive free verse poems defy convention with troubled, wildly variable line lengths. The phrase "When I was a wave" recurs throughout the book in unpredictable places, sometimes as a title, sometimes in the middle of a poem, each time telling a different story about expectation, intimacy, and the risk inherent in any relationship. "Blue in Green" is a graceful, tough-minded, beautifully crafted collection, full of wit and elegance"--,Provided by publisher.