Finalist, National Book Awards 2001 for Poetry

Mercurochrome, by Wanda Coleman book cover
ISBN 9781574231540
Black Sparrow Press
Wanda Coleman author photo
Wanda Coleman

Wanda Coleman – poet, storyteller and journalist – was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. She is the recipient of grants from the Guggenheiim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. More about this author >

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Coleman’s courageous, impassioned voice, defiantly affirming itself in the face of social injustice and institutional dehumanization, rings out clearer than ever in her book, Mercurochrome. So does her sensuous, vivid, tactile “verbal mandala”: “love / as i live it seems more like mercurochrome / than anything else /i can conjure up. it looks so pretty and red, /and smells of a balmy / coolness when you uncap the little applicator. /but swab it on an / open sore and you nearly die under the stabbing / burn. recovery / leaves a vague tenderness…”.These high-energy, incandescent poems turn up the emotional thermostat, sizzling and shooting off sparks.