Second Lining

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Graphics by Grethe-Brix-J. Leer
Winner of the Samuel Ostrosky Award for Best Creative Scholarly Work in the Humanities 1998


"The new book is exquisite! The poetry is painful, yet warm. . . .Grethe's graphics are important supports." - Gwendolyn Brooks

"Norman Leer ostensibly writes good lyric poetry, about what interests him and what obsesses him. . . However there's much more here. . . . He is not one of your facile poets. He works hard, and he makes the words work hard to let us make the reification, to let us visualize what we may. . . . Grethe's drawings are very sensitive to Norm's painstaking process of making the words bend and thus form shapes. . . . there's a sense of forging the line - with hammer and anvil - to make it bend so as to make it seem to flow." - Hugh Lifson

"Many of the poems are beautiful evocations of jazz-related moments in his life, such as hearing Louis Armstrong at the Blue Note. . . makes me nostalgic for a time and place I never experienced. . . . He knows and loves jazz and has an uncanny ability to summon strong visual images through his poetry. . . . the images summoned by Leer's writing survive in my mind's eye long after I've put down the volume." - Jazzbeat

"Norman Leer's homage to jazzmen is really an homage to life, lived to the full. It has the feeling and pulse of a blues sung by Big Bill or a piece played [by] the Duke's men." - Studs Terkel

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