John Keene is the author of ANNOTATIONS. His poetry, fiction and prose have appeared in many publications, including most recently BRIDGE, FENCE, NOCTURNES, and in anthologies such as Kevin Powell's STEP INTO A WORLD and the upcoming ROLE CALL. He has received many honors for his work, including four Pushcart Prize nominations, a range of fellowships, AGNI literary journal's 2000 John Cheever Short Fiction Prize and the 2001 Solo Press/SOLO Magazine Poetry Prize. He has completed a book of poems, is working on several long fictional works, and currently teaches at Brown University.
photo credit: Troy Johnson, AALBC.com, Oct. 25 2001
Click to order via Amazon
Format: Paperback, 96pp
Pub. Date: September 1995
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
An experimental first novel of poem-like compression, Annotations has a great deal to say about growing up Black in St. Louis. Reminiscent of Jean Toomer's Cane, the book is in part a meditation on African-American autobiography. Keene explores questions of identity from many angles - from race to social class to sexuality (gay and straight). Employing all manner of textual play and rhythmic and rhetorical maneuvers, he (re)creates his life story as a jazz fugue-in-words.
"What caught my eye was the comparison to Cane -- an apt
comparison. Annotations is lyrically written, visual, a real find!"
―Troy Johnson, AALBC.com