Persons Unknown

Persons Unknown

4.48 (42 ratings by Goodreads)
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In this stunning continuation to the poetry collection A Murmuration of Starlings, dedicated to those who lost their lives during the Civil Rights movement, Jake Adam York presents another set of searing portraits of these martyrs men whose murders haunt America's history. These elegiac and documentary poems seek justice and understanding for such sacrifices as Mack Charles Parker, lynched in Mississippi in 1959, his body disposed of in the waters of the Pearl River; Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee, abducted into the depths of the Homochitto Forest, beaten, and drowned in the Mississippi by the Ku Klux Klan; and Medgar Evers, dedicated activist, whose assassination outside his home in 1963 sent shockwaves throughout the South. Drawing on photographs, articles, legal documents, and other cultural artefacts, York deftly weaves history and memory into a lyrical reckoning for these often-overlooked victims of the bitter struggle for Civil Rights
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Product details

  • Paperback | 112 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 8.64mm | 195.04g
  • Carbondale, United States
  • English
  • 0809329980
  • 9780809329984
  • 1,476,634

Review quote

"Jake Adam York's beautiful poetry reclaims the voices of America's disappeared. This elegant victory of memory offers us a map to justice and hope if we but heed the call."--Susan M. Glisson, author of The Human Tradition in the Civil Rights Movement

"These poems are corrosive, blunt, historical as photographs we know from front-page news, but they have also the depth and tang of sweet dawn before anything has happened, before the lynchings, the blood. . . . Persons Unknown is bravely done work and Jake Adam York is, now, a necessary poet among us."--Dave Smith, author of Little Boats, Unsalvaged: Poems, 1992-2004

"Elegiac and epic, these poems broaden the limits of the American imagination on the subject of Jim Crow, an era as worthy of mythologizing as the War of Independence or World War II. I am grateful that York is applying his prodigious talent to this history and I am profoundly shaken by the result."--Anthony Grooms, author of Bombingham

"Never does Persons Unknown resort to simplistic political hindsight; far more, this is a fine book of poetry, a record of the wounded human heart seeking the balm of time, even in the bitter dark of time."--Maurice Manning, author of The Common Man
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About Jake A. York

Jake Adam York is an associate professor of English at the University of Colorado, Denver. His previous volume in this sequence, A Murmuration of Starlings, was published by Southern Illinois University Press in 2008. His poems have appeared in various journals, including Blackbird, Diagram, Greensboro Review, Gulf Coast, H_NGM_N, New Orleans Review, Shenandoah, and Southern Review.
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Rating details

42 ratings
4.48 out of 5 stars
5 55% (23)
4 38% (16)
3 7% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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