Lucinda Roy Reading from Fabric: Poems

Photo by Richard Mallory Allnutt

Lucinda Roy reads from Fabric:Poems at the Moss Arts Center

Cover for Fabric
The tellers of what Auden called “the public lie” seem lately to have drowned out all other speech. Their language is one of xenophobia, racism, violence, and unparalleled arrogance. Lucinda Roy’s quietly courageous and formally dexterous poems are meant, above all, to speak truth to the public lie. And the truths they speak are rich and various. We are offered, among other things, studies of child soldiers in war-ravaged Africa, elegies fashioned in the terrible aftermath of the Virginia Tech slayings, ekphrastic meditations on African masks that remind us of the preciousness of myth-making, and self-portraits that strive to arrive at a hard-won, essential wisdom. As she writes in one of the book’s most characteristic poems, “After so much loss I still believe-still want to believe tonight/that the Small-Life we lead can dance a cosmos.” After reading this splendid collection, we want to share this belief. –David Wojahn
Commentary by Lucinda Roy on her poem “Orogeny” in Fabric: North American Review–commentary on “Orogeny.”
The Humming Birds
“Slavery’s imprint on the psyche of contemporary America is powerfullly evoked in Roy’s second collection, winner of the Eighth Mountain Poetry Prize.  In the long and stunning “Needlework,” creatively sustains resilience as a slave named Lucy sews her memories into the slave-owner’s clothing….These intense, brave, and finely crafted works speak their large themes with precision and passion and without simplification.Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Containing Lucinda Roy’s long slave narrative poem “Needlework”
“… Lucinda Roy’s magnificent “Needlework,” selected by Clarence Major for [the] Baxter Hathaway Prize in Poetry.  This eleven-page poem, a sort of condensed epic of the life-lives of an African woman brought to America, may well be the most eloquent, elegantly crafted in its reticulation of images, and—most important—humanly commanding poem to be published this year in any language.”–Marion K. Stocking, Beloit Poetry Journal