My Old Man Was Always on the Lam contains powerful, moving, compassionate poems that spring out of the life of Harlem apartments and streets. It contains deeply felt, evocative poems of loss and mourning. In an era when too much work produced depends totally on the polished surface provided by the use of brilliant language, Tony Medina risks everything with his willingness to tear away the surface skin of relationships and life, to journey to that dark center where memorable poetry lives. My Old Man Was Always on the Lam is the work of a truly original and vibrant poet.
—Maria Mazziotti Gillan
author of the American Book Award-winning ALL THAT LIES BETWEEN US
Tony Medina infuses his signature wordplay with a heightened aesthetic urgency in
These bare-boned, tender laments for his parents, extended family, and humanity, or lack thereof. The old folks/In front of/My fatherís/Building are/Buildings that/have been/Abandonedóthese poems are sober brutal truths as pavement for a long ill-tempered sprint with death. And life.
—Quraysh Ali Lansana
author of ThE SHALL RUN: HARRIET TUBMAN POEMS
Demonstrating a combination of traits that gives him a voice like no one else, Tony Medina's poems are funny, intense, and tragic, and sometimes make you laugh until you cry. There's a terrible beauty in this book, a sparse and haunting music that stays with you. These poems are brave, and true, and well worth returning to again and again.
author of PRETTY GOOD FOR A GIRL and THE PROVING GROUNDS