New York: The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 1991. 2nd printing. Octavo, publisher's illustrated stiff paper wraps.
"where baseball players / are reborn / in their prime / to play in modern day times / and not only was the ball white / shoeless Joe Jackson was white / all the dead white players was white / taking batting practice in white home uniforms / under white Iowa clouds""(from "Darryl Strawberry Asleep in a Field of Dreams"). Second printing of the first edition of novelist and former slam poet Paul Beatty's first book, the first volume in the "New Cafe" series, the publishing arm of the multicultural, multigenerational center for spoken arts in New York, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Composed of 32 stream-of-consciousness poems, and praised by Allen Ginsberg (whom Beatty studied under at Brooklyn College) as "humorous, incisive, Americanist," this volume resulted from Beatty's crowning as the first ever Grand Poetry Slam Champion of the NPC. Both the book and championship title launched his career and solidified his reputation as a major voice in late 20th-century American letters, and Beatty was soon performing his poetry on MTV and PBS. After publishing his second collection in 1994, Beatty went on to write fiction, and his 2015 novel The Sellout earned him the Man Booker Prize (notably, the first American to win the award). Some edgewear to wraps, with trace of dampstaining to first few leaves at the gutter. Very good. Scarce. Item #2487