Mr. West is out from Wesleyan University Press. The cloth or paperback can be ordered here!
“The poems construct West as unmistakably human and larger than life—as much like as unlike the poet. The work is tender without being sentimental, funny without being cruel, and obsessive without being exploitative.
It is a study in nuance and it is strangely moving.”
—Evie Shockley, author of the new black
“The central connection Blake makes…is between herself, as impending mother to a son, and Kanye’s mother, Dr. Donda West. A touching elegiac strain is evident throughout these poems of motherhood.”
–New York Times Book Review
“Impressive for both its hybridity and its ambition…Mr. West is an important entry into the ongoing literary conversation on race that would be worthwhile to read alongside Claudia Rankine’s Citizen and Kevin Young’s The Grey Album.”
A visual bibliography for Mr. West
An earlier draft of “Jesus Walks” with all of the quotes mixed in from their original sources (or, how this poem sounds in my head)
A Motionpoems film of “A Day in the Mall Reminds Me of America,” adapted by Ayse Altinok
Kanye made a fur
backpack, mighty and listless.
The winter is here.
Kanye West, you have
Diamond teeth, and you came to
Roads, paved with platinum,
Stretch out Through the Wire, go
North. South. East. Then West.
percussions have, those
And Kanye said, the
stage shall be BRIGHT. Think Matrix.
All dancers, no guns.
hopeful for the limitless.
a college dropout.
Interrupt a blonde,
They might remember. But they
Can’t forget music.
kanye haikus bleed
from my soul they pour too fast
shame or glory waits?
kanye smiles now
I am just the espresso
There are wolves, Kanye.
See their bodies, sharp with light?
You are brighter still.
Send in your haiku about Kanye, and see it posted here.
The world’s on the back of a turtle, on the back of a turtle, on the back of a turtle,
on the back of Kanye.
Eve gave Kanye the apple—after Kanye was formed of dust from the ground.
Kanye was raised by a nymph and not eaten by his Titan father.
With a giant axe, Kanye separated the murky Yin and clear Yang.
Kanye once grew from the ocean and reached the clouds in the sky.
And Kanye almost died in a car accident,
so he became a star.
Correction: In the first printing of Mr. West, in the poem, “Hate Is for Hitler,” I wrote “I wonder if raised in a good family in Alabama,” regarding where Donda West grew up. While Donda West got her PhD at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, she grew up in Oklahoma. This is corrected in later printings.
Mr. West is written by Sarah Blake. Recipient of a Literature Fellowship from the NEA in 2013, she lives outside of Philadelphia, PA with her husband and son. She can be contacted through her website.