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White Papers

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


White Papers is a series of untitled poems that deal with issues of race from a number of personal, historical, and cultural perspectives. Expanding the territory of her 2006 book Blue Front, which focused on a lynching her father witnessed as a child, this book turns, among other things, to Martha Collins' childhood. Throughout, it explores questions about what it means to be white, not only in the poet’s life, but also in our culture and history, even our pre-history. The styles and forms are varied, as are the approaches; some of the poems address race only implicitly, and the book, like Blue Front, includes some documentary and “found” material. But the focus is always on getting at what it has meant and what it means to be white—to have a race and racial history, much of which one would prefer to forget, if one is white, but all of which is essential to remember and to acknowledge in a multi-racial society that continues to live under the influence of its deeply racist past.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 19, 2011 – This tightly focused, strongly argued book-length sequence uncovers a personal, regional, cultural, and institutional history of whiteness and white privilege: its clipped quatrains, spare recollections, and embedded citations give the rare and valuable show of a white author reflecting on the meanings and the oddities of race. Collins s Blue Front (2006) told stories of an Illinois lynching, and this volume clearly grew out of that one; but she here deploys a range of forms, visual as well as aural, and a range of effects, from a hammering self-reflection ( could get a credit card loan car/ come and go without a never had/ to think about ) to ironic collage. Race is not only nor always black and white: the natives of southern New England, Collins notes, were our first them. But black and white and their intertwined asymmetries rule this serious collection. Puns on color introduce musings on minstrelsy; recollections of Collins s not quite all-white Iowa childhood stand besides pictures of unacknowledged bigotry. Some readers and cultural critics may object that Collins has simply put familiar arguments into verse; the same readers might, instead, admire how much of herself, and of her sense of form, Collins brings in.
White Papers
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Poetry
  • Published: Jan 29, 2012
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Seller: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Print Length: 80 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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