Celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, Shakespearean Blues is a modern romp through the state of mankind, drenched in Shakespeare's words and characters. At turns joyous, tragic, witty, solemn, mysterious and wry, these poems are wide ranging like the quotes and characters that inspire them. Graham returns to the blue world of prior volumes, and uses the bard as a springboard to explore our human condition, seeing us somewhere between Puck's "Lord what fools these mortals be" and Miranda's "How beauteous mankind is!" A blue ribbon collection.
“In Shirley Graham’s masterful new poems, the boundaries between stage, audience and backstage are blurred. In the wise stillness of these words you are propelled to motion. As you enter and exit, you bump shoulders with your various selves. How will you speak now without shattering / the carefully gathered silence? How will you live in this world and keep yourself tender?”
– Daniela Elza, author of the weight of dew and milk tooth bane bone.
“Graham has the virtuosic skill of rendering a moment eternal.”
–Don Domanski, author of Bite Down Little Whisper
“Welcome to Shirley Graham’s one-woman staging of Shakespeare, played from her room of masks, as she puts on all the parts in front of her mirror and then takes them off, word by word by word. This is Shakespeare played with an orchestra conducted by Lorca. Will said all the world was a stage. Graham shows that he got that a bit wrong. All the stage is a world, and she shows us that the world is a woman’s body talking mirror talk. A tour de force.”
–Harold Rhenisch, author of Living Will: Shakespeare After Dark and Free Will