MORE POETRY & PROSE BY WANDA COLEMAN FROM BLACK SPARROW PRESS Mercurochrome
"Wanda Coleman's poetry stings, stains, and ultimately helps heal wounds like the old-fashioned mercurochrome of her title. No easy remedy for the lacerating American concerns of racism and gender bias, Coleman's poetry transforms pain into empathy. . . these searing, soaring poems challenge us to repair the fractures of human difference, and feel what it is to be made whole again."
–The National Book Award Poetry Judges 2001, Stanley Plumly, Chair Bathwater Wine
"A poet whose angry and extravagant music, so far beyond baroque, has been making itself heard across the divide between West Coast and East, establishment and margins, slams and seminars, across the too-American rift among races and genders."
–from the jury's citation for the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize Hand Dance
"Coleman's poems are an act of liberation, meant to be experienced as something almost physical, like a punch or a whipping . . . she wants her language to express anger, to incite anger, and to shake all those who read it out of their complacency."
–The Nation Imagoes
"Hard, brilliant strokes shot through with street music . . ."
–Booklist Native in a Strange Land: Trials & Tremors
"Her extraordinary eye for detail and personal perspective universalizes her experience and makes her observations both trenchant and reliable."
–Publisher's Weekly The Riot Inside Me: More Trial and Tremors
"Coleman is best known for her 'warrior voice.' [But her] voice too can weep elegiac, summoning memories of childhood's neighborhoods - her South L.A.'s wild-frond palms, the smog-smear of pre-ecology consciousness. Her voice hits notes as desperate as Billie Holiday's tours of sorrow's more desolate stretches. But it can also land a wily punch line as solid as that of a stand-up comic."
–Los Angeles Times War of Eyes
"These are extraordinary stories, told in a powerful voice. This is the painful reality of the powerlessness that is too often shrouded in bureaucratic anonymity–a probation number, a welfare case number. Coleman, with her fine poet's eye and strong intense language, brings to life their somber existences."
–Los Angeles Times Book Review