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Blue on a Blue Palette

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Blue on a Blue Palette

By: Lynne Thompson

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Regular price $18.00

About This Title

This title is available for pre-order and will ship on it's publication date: April 16th 2024.

Lynne Thompson’s Blue on a Blue Palette reflects on the condition of women—their joys despite their histories, and their insistence on survival as issues of race, culture, pandemic, and climate threaten their livelihoods. The documentation of these personal odysseys—which vary stylistically from abecedarians to free verse to centos—replicate the many ways women travel through the stages of their lives, all negotiated on a palette encompassing various shades of blue. These poems demand your attention, your voice: “Say history. Claim. Say wild.”

 Excerpt from BLUE ON A BLUE PALETTE

 Call It Havoc

as every step you take is clutch and coffin.
Believe me, baby-bent-on-starshine, you’re
crazy if you think you can get away by train.
Doubt is your best depend upon it,
especially when it was only a
few days ago when you cast bread—with
glee and hope—on a mirage.
Here’s a news flash: we’re all chumps who
ignore the fact we live in cities of the already-dead,
justice just a fairy tale,
kingdoms bellicose,
love-sick in these times of unloving. Yes, we’re all
mules. We are freak shows with mechanical limbs,
neither owners nor mortgagees.
On our rutted cheeks, the war
paint of civilizations we never
quite
remember.
So we pump the trombones, zith the zithers,
twirl amidst the ashes and tractor parts.
Under a mad magnificence, our
violence spans centuries,
wreaks havoc in suddenly-shuttered towns:
Xinjin, Zawiya, Khartoum, and
you already know what else will be lost—the River
Zuni’s blue-head suckers, lifeless in this sag of bedrock.

Praise for BLUE ON A BLUE PALETTE

“Maybe because Dave Brubeck’s ‘Blue Rondo à la Turk’  was the first piece of music my jazz-loving daddy ever played for me, and blue is, hands down, my favorite color, I fell head-over-heels for Lynne Thompson’s snappy, all systems go paean to blue. Flying a banner of unfettered joy and lucidity, she champions African American resilience (‘Langston Won’t Stay in His Grave’) and fearless womanhood (‘A Woman’s Body Aging, Still Loves Itself’)—in the face of everyday ignorance and carnage. With the unfailing wand of her intelligence, empathy, and bull’s-eye humor, everything this fast-paced poet contemplates turns to dazzling sparks and sleight-of-hand.” 

— Cyrus Cassells author of The World That the Shooter Left Us

“Lynne Thompson’s Blue on a Blue Palette is at turns—and, often, all at once—old and new.  That is, rooted strong in a long tradition and legitimately experimental. Thompson’s range in form and subject matter is equaled only by the deftness with which she handles each. In these pages we get a true blue blueswoman who knows when to whisper and when to wail, one who has lived some, and means to make song of what she’s seen.”

— John Murillo, author of Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry

“Singing the blues in this beautiful and devastating collection, Lynne Thompson calls on the tradition of poets such as Patricia Smith and Adrienne Rich to examine a culture of injustice and loss for women and for people of color. In this moving tribute to resistance, voice, and action, Thompson affirms, ‘So they know // as you know // There will never be a last of us // We come // We come like rivers.’ Thompson employs a variety of forms, from abecedarian to cento and villanelle in skillful, smart and generous poems that include allusions to nursery rhymes, Bible verses, musicians, artists, and writers to explore the tension between creation and violence, declaring, ‘I think I might just be a clock // &  juju power in a terrible century / a needle & the way to plunge it in.’ This is an important collection, one to keep close, as the layers of resilience and hard-won praise grow richer with each read.”

— Ellen Bass, author of Indigo and Chancellor Emeritus of the Academy of American Poetry


Publication Date: 04/16/2024

ISBN: 978-1-960145-14-7

© BOA Editions, Ltd. 2024

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