Emmett Till in Different States

emmet-till_frontcoverPoems by Philip C. Kolin

In the history of a nation still on the long journey toward full realization of its creed, there are stories that need to be told again and again. The murder of Emmett Till is one such story; it belongs to all of us and should be sung by many different voices. In Emmet Till in Different States, Philip Kolin adds his voice — a necessary retelling so that we might be transformed by the listening.

— Natasha Trethewey, 19th Poet Laureate of the United States

Philip Kolin’s new collection of poems shows us of the influence of the artist’s pen. His offerings here cover not only the full scope of the Till tragedy but from the heavens, Emmett mourns the deaths of Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Trayvon Martin, and weeps over the Freedom Riders, and the current state of his beloved city of Chicago. The poetry is deeply moving yet powerfully haunting. Kolin’s work is a valuable addition to the Till literature and evidence of why, after six decades, this case remains an open wound not only the South, but throughout America.

— Devery S. Anderson, Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement

Philip Kolin encapsulates the Till saga between memory of slavery and the horrible events taking place today with young Black men. Because Kolin’s superb poetic artistry in inventing persons who speak in a character and tone that are believable and moving, Emmett Till’s life and memory are humanized.

— Sterling D. Plumpp, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago

Philip Kolin’s Emmett Till in Different States abounds with revelatory insights while fully engaging readers through poetry that is as visceral as it is elegant . . .. These poems create a contrapuntal narrative that animates intimate anecdotes, personal perspectives, documents on record, and public opinions, thereby shedding light and adding texture to the well circulated, yet never exhausted story of Emmett Till.

— Faedra Chatard Carpenter, University of Maryland


Philip C. Kolin is the University Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Publisher: Third World Press
Publication Date: November, 2015
100 pages. $18.95 Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-88378-360-3
Available: Third World Press, Amazon, and select bookstores

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