under the aegis of a winged mind

makalani bandele

under the aegis of a winged mind

makalani bandele

Distributed for Autumn House Press

112 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $16.95 ISBN: 9781938769580 Published September 2020
E-book $16.95 ISBN: 9781938769627 Published September 2020

The poems in under the aegis of a winged mind are inspired by the life and times of the jazz composer and pianist Earl “Bud” Powell. Powell was a leading figure in the development of jazz, but throughout his life, he also faced struggles with police brutality, harassment, drug and alcohol abuse, and mental illness. In this collection, makalani bandele explores Powell’s life through a blend of both formal and free verse persona poems. These poems are multivocal, with the speaker often embodying Powell himself and sometimes a close friend or family member, the spectator of a performance, or a fellow musician.

While the book follows the narrative of Powell’s life, the poems are experimental in form and presentation. Playing with, reinventing, and restructuring poetic form, bandele draws on blues and jazz music theory to serve as a basis for much of the work’s construction. He uses language to recreate the experience of music itself, and his poetry includes a multitude of references and allusion to music lyrics and other poems. As the book recounts Powell’s life, it also explores how Black genius has encountered, struggled against, and developed mechanisms to cope with White supremacy in the United States. under the aegis of a winged mind won the 2019 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize.
 

Contents
blues in b for charlie the sound of thinking about distant objects quick recipe for genius mary lou williams’s piano workshop (after fred moten) earl of harlem meets the high priest of bebop (alternate take) ghost of the piano cutting contest: earl of harlem vs. art tatum (for who buys the next pitcher of pabst) gigan: the cruel blues coping earl of harlem meets the high priest of bebop leit[blue]motif earl of harlem swear he in love with the little piano girl of east liberty cutting contest: earl of harlem vs. art tatum (for who buys the next pitcher of pabst) (lost live recording) piano ode to the cabaret card riff on g7 mad man at the finger palace mad man at the finger palace (alternate take) after ect tune as an asylum scary meds what to do while fresh ideas are organizing earl of harlem in his simplest form, a poor man’s diagnosis earl of harlem swear he in love with the little piano girl of east liberty (bud’s take) pianism pearl of harlem pianism (alternate take) etude op. 8, no.7 etude op. 8, no.2 etude op. 8, no.6 etude op. 8, no.4 etude op. 11, no.5 etude op. 11, no.11 etude op. 15, no.1 etude op. 15, no.3 mnemonic fragments (ballad for crossing the unbridgeable chasm) earl of harlem at the golden shovel the negro section as frontage 12-bar F blues with a few substitutions thrown in wor studios, new york city, may 1, 1951 tempus fugue-it earl of harlem swear he in love with the little piano girl of east liberty (alternate take) piano solitaire last supper of bop mingus of the ninth circle the portrait of an artist in his daughter’s aural imagination crash homegoing & repass solo lost in the 8th arrondissement earl of harlem on bob thompson’s garden of music dissipation: a bop off night: a piano trio last call fraternite aubade: earl of harlem composing extemporaneously gigan: epistle to neptune blue heron celia
Review Quotes
Cornelius Eady, author of "Brutal Imagination"
“William Carlos Williams once wrote that it was difficult to get the news from poetry, but we die from the lack of what is there, and to transpose music, especially African-American music and all it contains into something fresh and revelatory on the page is just as complicated, but makalani bandele proves, page by page, poem by stunning poem, to be up for the task. And what news! under the aegis of a winged mind isn’t a book—it’s a neighborhood, it’s a nation. To quote this fine poet: ‘Just listen.’ makalani bandele is a poet who is just tuning up.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://press.uchicago.edu
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