Reuben Jackson Makes Banshee Press’ 2020 Best Short Readings List
Jackson's poetry cycle, "Kelly's Love for Waltzes" (published by Boston Review) is chosen by Jaydn Dewald for the year-end list.
THIS YEAR, the Irish publisher, Banshee Press, asked its editors and contributors to pick "their favourite shorter reads of the year." Poet, Jaydn Dewald, whose work has appeared in Banshee and numerous other journals, chose Reuben Jackson's poetry cycle "Kelly's Love for Waltzes" for the list. The cycle was originally published by Boston Review and includes poems that utilize a waltz-like form, each line containing three words.
In "Kelly's Love for Waltzes" Reuben, who achieved considerable recognition for his narrative-driven poetry about lovers Khadijah and Amir, showcases a new voice, that of Kelly, loud and frustrated over racial inequality. Reuben's most recent collection Scattered Clouds features a plethora of his narrative and character-based poetry, and includes of all of his Khadijah and Amir poems. You can pick that up from ASP here.
Scattered Clouds is a volume of lyrical, emotionally forthright meditations on love, loss, and longing. The volume contains the complete text of the author’s award-winning first collection, fingering the keys; his nationally lauded poem, “For Trayvon Martin”; and his suite of ruminations on a long-time and deeply missed friend, the late barbershop owner Amir Yasin, and his widow Khadijah Rollins. These poems, exploring Amir’s late-life romance with Kadijah, became a national internet sensation.
An introduction by poet Abdul Ali places Jackson in his rightful context as a Black American poetry elder, who has influenced generations of younger poets with his musical wisdom as well as his poetry. Ali is a Cave Canem alum and the author of the poetry collection, Trouble Sleeping.
In this audio-only feature, the Maryland Poet Laureate’s poem is read by Amanda Holmes of The American Scholar
Torch Literary Arts, a non-profit literary organization with the goal of raising the creative voices of black women writers, has selected Saida Agostini as their featured artist of July.
“Agostini’s socially and spiritually aware poetry collection ‘Let the Dead In’ focuses on the duality between love and hate along with the way that these concepts integrate and clash”