Major Jackson author of Leaving Saturn ($15.95, University of Georgia Press)

“Major Jackson’s Leaving Saturn is the melting down of tragedy to become fire and delight, the shifting chord of the African American urban voice searching for its mirror for the new generation’s energetic jazz/hiphop poetic. Departing from the blues, Jackson arrives ast a visionary magic, the solar reality of invisible silence, the rhapsodic heart of the black man’s song.” Afaa M. Weaver

”From sun Ra to the conundrum of adolescent sexuality, from barbershop culture to basketball and dance as rites of passage, Leaving Saturn is largely about returning : to tradition, to a psychological landscape both American and African American, and to a recognition of that suffering without which “how else / do we know we are here? ‘ an ambitious debut, for which Major Jackson has coined an idiom and music all his own.” Carl Phillips