This week meet Jonathan Moody. Jonathan holds an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh and a BS degree in Psychology from Xavier University of Louisiana. Author of The Doomy Poems (Six Gallery Press, 2012) and Olympic Butter Gold (Northwestern University Press, 2015), winner of the 2014 Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize, his poetry has appeared in such publications as African American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Borderlands, Boston Review, The Common, and Harvard Review Online. He lives in Fresno, Texas, with his wife and son.
Buy Jonathan Moody’s Books
Olympic Butter Gold
Jonathan Moody grew up during the Golden Ages of hip-hop and listened to rap that was as adventurous and diverse as his military upbringing. When rap’s Golden Ages expired, the music’s innovativeness and variety diminished. Moody’s second book, Olympic Butter Gold, winner of the 2014 Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize, responds to Chuck D’s claim that “if there was a HIP-HOP or Rap Olympics, I really don’t think the United States would get Gold, Silver or Brass.” From the poem “Opening Ceremony,” in the voice of a heroin addict struggling to use Lady Liberty’s torch to cook “The American Dream,” to “Dear 2Pac,” an autobiographical account of teaching Tupac Shakur’s poetry to engage high school students indifferent to literature, Moody shares a worldview that is simultaneously apocalyptic and promising.
The Doomy Poems
“The Doomy Poems challenges the notion that the blues embodies resignation: a self-imposed suffering in which one chooses to remain stuck at the crossroads of nostalgia and obsession. Through persona poems written in the voices of three characters, Jonathan Moody illustrates that in both the South (Houston) and the North (Pittsburgh) the roads to love and integrity, although freshly paved, are strewn with nails and shards of glass.”
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Happy Reading, y’all!