Poetry. School of the Americas by David Rigsbee. A New Book of Black Lawrence Publishing
As the title suggests, School of the Americas is a collection that takes us to school, in fact many schools that comprise our common experience, from the birth of “enhanced interrogation” (title poem), to the political and classroom rutting of the Culture Wars (“Sodomites,” “At the Grave of Jesse Helms”), to the surprising lessons of pop culture (“Roy Orbison, New Orleans 1984,” “Hook”) that so often steer our dreams in ways both familiar and haunting. School of the Americas seeks the crossroads of personal life and history at ground level, where character and time fuse into destinies, some tragic (“The Slug”), some weirdly magnificent (“Ode to Wilbur Mills”), some demonic (“Russians”). Accessible, polemical, elegiac, often comic, Rigsbee’s poems speak not just to understanding, but to imagination and judgment. In the words of Peter Makuck, “Few other poets so powerfully capture both the ignorant cruelty and profound love we bear one another.”
About the author:
David Rigsbee is the author of The Pilot House, a Black River Chapbook Competition Winner (2009) and The Red Tower: New and Selected Poems (2010). Winner of the Pound Prize, the Vachel Lindsay Award, and a Pushcart Prize, he has also been recipient of fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, The Virginia Commission on the Arts, The Djerassi Foundation, and the Academy of American Poets. He is 2010 winner of the Sam Ragan Award for contribution to the arts in North Carolina. Rigsbee is currently contributing editor for The Cortland Review.