Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry Brutal Imagination is the work of a poet at the peak of his considerable powers, confronting a crucial subject: the black man in America. “A hymn to all the sons this country has stolen from her African-American families.”—The Village Voice
This poetry collection explores the vision of the black man in white imagination, as well as the black family and the barriers of color, class, and caste that tear it apart. These two main themes showcase Cornelius Eady’s range: his deft wit, inventiveness, and skillfully targeted anger, and the way in which he combines the subtle with the charged, street idiom with elegant inversions, harsh images with the sweetly ordinary. Includes poems that inspired the libretto for Eady’s music-drama Running Man, a 1999 Pulitzer Prize finalist.