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Up Jump the Boogie
"Up jumps the boogie. That's almost all one needs to say. Murillo is
headbreakingly brilliant. I didn't have a favorite poet for this year:
Now I do. But with this kind of verve and intelligence and ferocity
Murillo just might be a favorite for many years to come."
- Junot Diaz
"The feel of now lives in John Murillo's Up Jump the Boogie, but it's
tempered by bows to the tradition of soulful music and oral poetry.
The lived dimensions embodied in this collection say that here's an
earned street knowledge and a measured intellectual inquiry that dare
to live side by side, in one unique voice. The pages of Up Jump the
Boogie breathe and sing; the tributes and cultural nods are heartfelt,
and in these honest poems no one gets off the hook."
- Yusef Komunyakaa
In this first collection, John Murillo commits to the page a dazzling
display of artistry, word-magic and "skybound" emotion. And thank
heaven for the emotions here--whether contained in a form (sestina,
ghazal, and so on--), an homage, or a kind of street-wise elegy. And,
thank goodness--or some Exposition-Boulevard-equivalent--for these
poems. Even if you didn't grow up on the same block as John, my guess
is that you'll still feel a kind of nostalgia that arises from really
well written poetry. Dear reader, hold this book in your hands like a
steering wheel and keep your eyes on the road.
- Kimiko Hahn