60 Cent Coffee And A Quarter To Dance: A Poem

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9780807129951: 60 Cent Coffee And A Quarter To Dance: A Poem
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Judy Jordan returns to a time in her life when she was homeless and working as a pizza deliverer at a Greek immigrant-owned restaurant. She absorbs the life experiences and unmet dreams of her coworkers, the parking lot prostitutes, and the other homeless with whom she shares coffee refills and the warmth of the bus station terminal. Their voices, along with Jordan's, come together in a haunting chorus that bears witness to the misery of poverty in the richest country in the world.
Childhood abuse, drug use, violence, disease, and war enter into many of the stories that form this collective tale. Sometimes broken and eerie, sometimes lyrical and beautiful, and other times quirkily humorous, the poems gain an added edginess by the use of fixed forms and the re-imagining of the sonnet in the mouths of the twentieth century's wounded and alienated. Ultimately, Jordan explores the place of beauty, verse, and narrative in helping to move us into a future in which everyone's story is told.

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About the Author:

Judy Jordan teaches at Southern Illinois University, in Carbondale.

From Publishers Weekly:

Departing fiercely from her landscape-oriented debut, Jordan's second volume remembers her time working at a pizza joint, "sleeping/ in my truck or if it's winter in empty buildings," mingling with prostitutes and junkies, and trying to understand the inner torments of the immigrants with whom she worked, among them the restaurant's Greek owner, Chris. Jordan tries repeatedly to imagine herself into Chris's childhood in a village ravaged by Nazi atrocities, its "streets filling up with the dead." More impressive and more detailed are pages devoted to Jordan's own "days without food," when she "grabbed bread crusts off deserted plates," "slept in abandoned buildings, and carried/ all I owned slung in a backpack." Jordan compares these struggles to the even more serious troubles of her brother (who stayed at home after she ran away) and of her acquaintance Princess, "on the streets again" with "her needle-scarred skin": "You don't get out of that life, not alive." Though rarely subtle, Jordan's imagination proves consistently effective in its efforts to dramatize these tough lives; "I search for that which will give us all names," she announces, and most of her search succeeds. The title refers to "all-night deli" with "sixty-cent coffee and free refills/ as long as you stay awake." (Apr.)
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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780807129968: Sixty-Cent Coffee and a Quarter to Dance: A Poem

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ISBN 10:  0807129968 ISBN 13:  9780807129968
Publisher: LSU Press, 2005
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