Mini book review: ‘Olio,’ by Tyehimba Jess

by Patty Templeton

“Olio,” by Tyehimba Jess, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. This ain’t the type of poetry you had to read in high school that made you feel dumb. It’s the type of poetry you take pics of to send to your unsuspecting friends because they showcase the harsh history of American (music) culture in an elegance not often found.

“Olio” is based on real people, taking place from the Civil War to just before World War II. Each section is dedicated to black musicians who have been left out of the history books. It works its way through first generation-freed slaves working minstrel shows to mid-century modern music.

There are no rules in this conversational collection. It contains poetry and a fictional letter series from a WWII veteran to W.E.B. Du Bois about Scott Joplin. The collection has pages that fold out and poems that read in three orders told from two points of view – you can read one column down, another column down, and then read the columns straight across, as they sit side by side. It’s Jess’ second book, after his acclaimed “Leadbelly,” based on the life of the famous bluesman.

People who enjoy music, American history, or poetry that could crack open damn near any heart should pick up a copy of “Olio,” by Tyehimba Jess.

Patty Templeton


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.


On Key

Related Posts

DGO October 2023 Page 12 Image 0004

Munch on this

Pair these strains with these snacky-snacks and you’ll be in stoner heaven. Trust us. Welcome to the world of munchies and Mary Jane, where we

DGO September 2023 Page 11 Image 0001

Legendary leaves (and buds)

These 10 cannabis strains have shaped the cannabis landscape for decades on end When it comes to the world of cannabis, few things have stood

Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get notified about new articles