The Trembling Tiber

The Trembling Tiber : A black poet's musings on Shakespeare's Julius Caesar

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"Winner of the Greece's Eyelands International Poetry Book Award"

When a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome, Neal Hall was stopped at gunpoint by a member of the Italian special forces. His offense: being black while walking about in an affluent white district. The soldier profiled him as an illegal African alien. By chance, the colorcoded indignity fell on the Ides of March, the day Caesar was assassinated. This coincidence inspired Hall to take a deep dive into Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Thought the first of its kind, the hybrid poetic narratives emerging from this exploration interweave Shakespearean tools with those of Hall's own craft and speak in direct, powerful new ways to universal contemporary issues of freedom and equality. The poems, by providing new prisms through which to view today's power constructs, challenge the reader to recognize the coded and decoded socio-political-economic struggles of marginalized people today and to question for whom liberty's bell truly tolls.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 146 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 13mm | 322g
  • English
  • 9176375889
  • 9789176375884
  • 1,499,223

Review quote

"If Shakespeare's Julius Caesar was a tightrope one could stretch between the idiosyncratically abysmal and the collectively political, then Neal Hall's The Trembling Tiber is an elegant walk on this fragile tightrope. The poet's voice is guttural yet soothing, lulling the reader into a timeless world of injustice, conflict and rage but also of hope, courage and inner freedom. Neal Hall's poetry is a torrent of vibrating words engulfing the reader in their powerful rhythm and heartfelt truth." --Andriana Minou, Judge, Greece's Eyelands International Poetry Book Award.

"The Trembling Tiber: a black poet's musings on Shakespeare's Julius Caesar is a collection of work centered around poetry and critique, penned by author Neal Hall. After experiencing racial profiling and marginalization himself, which coincidentally fell upon Shakespeare's fated Ides of March, Hall began to explore the context and messages within the thought-provoking play Julius Caesar. What results is a well-composed collection of poetry that employs traditional craft and modern perspectives in order to get some very eye-opening viewpoints across. Power, class structure, wealth, race, and many other factors are explored as the modern world is ripped open by an interpretation of the dark side of human nature from our past. Author Neal Hall has crafted a superb work that utilizes a play many will know, but far fewer will have explored the intellectual depths that this collection allows for. As an avid fan of Shakespeare myself, it is always enlightening to see how voices and personal experiences shape new interpretations and perspectives of the bard's original work. The poems and considerations which spring from Hall's experience are our stark reminder of the vast inequality that still remains in current human society. The lyrical prowess is admirable in terms of its rhythm and flow, as well as the image-inducing lexical choices that certainly stick with you long after reading the collection. Overall, I would highly recommend The Trembling Tiber to poetry and Shakespeare fans alike, especially those looking for thought-provoking socio-cultural work." --Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite - 5 Stars
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