Wicked Enchantment:

Selected Poems

One of the most talked about literary collections of the year!

“Hateful and hilarious, heartbroke and hellbent.”—Mary Karr, New York Times bestselling author

“One of the greatest poets ever to come out of L.A.”—Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker

“Her work pushes us to confront injustice with as much candor as she did.”—Poetry

“Coleman is a great American poet whose best work serves as an instruction manual on inventiveness and originality…”—John Yau, Hyperallergic

“Required Reading”—Bustle

Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems—the greatest work of Wanda Coleman, 130 poems spanning four decades, edited and introduced by Terrance Hayes.

For those who don’t know the richness of Coleman’s work, this book is an indispensable introduction. For those who do know Coleman’s work, the range of this selection will provide new, unexpected, and deeply moving pleasures.

“One of the greatest poets ever to come out of L.A., she shaped the city’s literary scene like few before her. . . . Rarely does a poet seem to want to take an already brutally brief form and speed it up. But Coleman’s sonnets are sprints, which is what makes their improvisations, modelled on American blues and jazz, so compelling.”
—Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker

“In Wicked Enchantment, Coleman’s fans, new and old, will find some of her most vital challenges to American racism and its market-driven culture, rendered in her uniquely unsettling lyric voice. Her work pushes us to confront injustice with as much candor as she did—and with as much care.”
Lizzy Lerud, Poetry

“Coleman pulls the reader in with long, sinuous lines that keep driving forward, pulling you along. What further distinguishes her poetry, and installs it in its own domain, is her extravagant language — one detail is never enough; five are never too many.”
—John Yau, Hyperallergic

“How many other poets can you think of who can say: ‘My anger knows no bounds—it’s unlimited. I’m a big lady, I can stand up in front of almost any man and cuss him out and have no fear—you know what I’m sayin’? Because I will go to blows.’ This is a big bold no-holds-barred American voice, and you’ll need to buy this book, and read your favorite Wanda poems aloud—about Emmett Till, about her raggedy-ass old car, about giving birth, about South Africa, about her body and her dreams, about this country we all live in, as she did, seeing herself ‘thrown heart first into this ruin.’ ”
David Gullette, The Arts Fuse

“Wanda Coleman’s poems combine manifesto and confession, inner and outer indictment, violence and tenderness, satire and sincerity.”
—Terrance Hayes

“Wanda taught me how to dig for the dirt, to get on the page and stink up the place. She taught me not to be afraid of my anger—to use it.”
—Amber Tamblyn

“Wanda Coleman is not just wickedly wise, she is transcendent.”
The Washington Post

Godine, Publisher | Black Sparrow Press is distributed to the trade by Two Rivers Distribution, an Ingram brand. For more info, click here.

Wanda Coleman—poet, short story writer, novelist, and essayist—was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. Coleman was awarded the prestigious 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for Bathwater Wine from the American Academy of Poets, becoming the first African-American woman to ever win the prize, and was a bronze-medal finalist for the 2001 National Book Award for Poetry for MercurochromeWicked Enchantment: Selected Poems is the first new collection of her work since her death in 2013.

VIRTUAL BOOK LAUNCH
+ Six stellar poets came together with Black Sparrow Press and to celebrate the publication of Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems. The incredible gathering of acclaimed poets and bona fide Wanda Coleman fans—Mahogany L. Browne, Terrance Hayes, Dorothea Lasky, Rachel McKibbens, Patricia Smith, and Amber Tamblyn—read from and discussed Coleman’s influential work. | Watch

READ
+ Poetry Foundation on Wanda Coleman | Read
+ “Remembering Wanda Coleman” Los Angeles Times | Read
+ Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award | Read
+ “Remembering Wanda Coleman” by Amber Tamblyn | Read
+ Obituary: Wanda Coleman Los Angeles Times | Read

VIEW (Poems from Wicked Enchantment)
+ “I Live for My Car” | Watch
+ “Wanda Why Aren’t You Dead” | Watch
+ “They Came Knocking On My Door at 7 AM” | Watch

LISTEN
+ Wanda Coleman Interviewed (2002) | Listen

Terrance Hayes (editor) is the author of Lighthead (National Book Award winner) and, most recently, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York TimesCritics’ Top Books of 2018)-both from Penguin Books. Hayes was awarded a MacArthur Genius Fellowship in 2014. Hayes served as the 2017-2018 poetry editor for New York Times Magazine, and was guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2014. Hayes lives in New York City.