Wanda Coleman was born in the Watts neighbourhood of Los Angeles in 1946. Her first collection was Mad Dog Black Lady, published in 1979 by Black Sparrow Press, who would remain her publisher for the rest of her life. Early fellowships were followed by years of limited recognition, during which she wrote a number of books including American Sonnets (1994). The selection of Mercurochrome (2001) as a National Book Awards finalist began to breathe new life into her reputation. In 2012, she won the Poetry Society of America's Shelley Memorial Award. She died in 2013.
In this sure, wise and devastating collection, Coleman pushes against the limitations of language ... I cried many times while reading but also laughed enormously. What a joy of a book -- Caleb Azumah Nelson, author of OPEN WATER Wanda Coleman is not just wickedly wise, she is transcendent * Washington Post * Wanda Coleman's peerless Wicked Enchantment has words to crack you open and heal you where it counts - hateful and hilarious, heartbroke and hellbent. All honor to her name -- Mary Karr, author of THE LIARS' CLUB Wanda Coleman gives literary voice to thoughts on survival, as a Black woman who suffers economic, racist and misogynistic attack. Essential reading for all -- Roger Robinson, author of A PORTABLE PARADISE One of the greatest poets ever to come out of LA * New Yorker * Coleman is master of telling unvarnished truths - about self, about the world, about personal past and our collective future * Los Angeles Times * Her work pushes us to confront injustice with as much candor as she did * Poetry * Her works crackle with life ... aching and meditative * Booklist * Sassy, funny, and wickedly sharp ... there are more than a dozen poems in Hayes's astute gathering that should be widely anthologized, certainly as much as any poem by Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, or [Frank] O'Hara ... Wicked Enchantment should help set the record straight: Coleman is a great American poet -- John Yau * Hyperallergic *