award-winning poet, and journalist, critic, and poet
powerful narrative...I read this book...with gratitude for Datcher's brutal
honesty, humor, and poetic probes...."
'(Dr. Charles Johnson, author of Middle Passage)
Publisher: The Putnam Publishing Group, Riverhead Books
Pub. Date: February 2001
Immediate, dramatic, illuminating-through his own
riveting story, Michael Datcher, a young black poet, argues passionately for a
black man's right to security, family, and love.
In Raising Fences, Michael Datcher offers a view of young black men seldom seen in the media-men who long for loving, stable marriages, fatherhood, and homes in safe neighborhoods. In this emotionally raw and intimate narrative, Datcher reflects on his fatherless childhood in inner-city Los Angeles, his attraction to local gangs, his promiscuity, and, at times, his lack of faith. But he also writes of his deep desire-and the desires of other black men he knows-to escape a cycle that deprives children of what they need most and creates empty shells of grown men. Here is the story of one man's success in overcoming the obstacles thrown at him from birth. It is a powerful case for fathers, for family, for racial communication and understanding. And it is also a love story, a story of courage and faith. Its message is one we need to hear now more than ever before.
Author Bio: Michael Datcher is a poet and critically acclaimed journalist who has written for the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The Baltimore Sun, and has appeared as a guest analyst on numerous television and radio shows, including Nightline and Dateline. He is the director of literary programs at the World Stage Writers' Workshop.
Love: Cultural Criticism and Familial Observations on the Life and Death of
edited by Kwame Alexander & Michael Datcher