Review: Point Blank: Poems by Alan King

November 30, 2018
Point Blank: Poems, Alan King, InToriLex
Published By: Silver Birch Press on October 18, 2016
Format Read: Paperback Edition (102 pages)
Genre: Poetry/ Contemporary/Own Voices
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Author Request
Point Blank: Poems
"In Point Blank, we are given an intimate look at one man's inner and outer life, but there's no navel-gazing nonsense. There's always an awareness, implied or explicit, of the sociopolitical crucible. With language both tough-minded and celebratory, Alan King ignites the important details of his experience, compelling us to ask what-plus-what added up to our own lives." TIM SEIBLES, author of Fast Animal and One Turn Around the Sun

"Alan King is one of my favorite up-and-coming poets of his generation. His poems are not pop and flash, rather more like a slow dance with someone you're going to love forever. Here you will find poignant slices of life, so bright in a rough age of race killings and hate speech. He reminds us that what matters has always mattered." JOY HARJO, poet, musician, performer, and teacher


Content Warning: Racism


I really enjoyed these eclectic poems about coming of age and experiencing adversity and tragedy. The author does a great job of creating imagery and atmosphere throughout his poems. The dialogue used flowed naturally and allowed me to be more immersed with the topics described. I was engaged in this short collection the whole way through, even when I couldn't directly relate to the experiences described.
"Thats when the world becomes scarier, when you discover the darkness that lurks outside your "Happy Meal" life, when you learn danger needs little to combust and consume whatevers's in its way."
I was happy to gain more insight on the authors life.Throughout the poems themes and topics I appreciate the candidness involved. Although there were a few poems I didn't get I understand that poetry is meant for different audiences and reaches people differently. I would recommend this collection to readers who enjoy well thought out reflections on how black men survive tragedy and face our unwelcoming world.
Lawd, this world's too ugly for sober eyes.All those souls outside of paradise, anticipating the other side
Recommended for Readers who
- enjoy poetry that explores important social topics
- want to learn more about the experiences of black men
- appreciate perspectives shared by own voice writers

**I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. **


Alan King
Alan King is a Caribbean American, whose parents emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago to the U.S. in the 1970s. He’s a husband, father, and communications professional who blogs about art and social issues at alanwking.com. A Cave Canem graduate fellow, he holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine. He’s a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and was also nominated three times for a Best of the Net selection. He lives with his family in Bowie, Maryland.

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