This moving collection of prose poems about seventies soul singer Donny Hathaway presents a complex view of a gifted artist through imagined conversations and interviews that convey the voices, surroundings, and clashing dimensions of Hathaway's life. Among mainstream audiences Hathaway is perhaps best known either as the syrupy voice singing with Roberta Flack in "Where Is the Love" or for his shocking death--he was found dead beneath the open thirteenth-story window of his New York hotel room in 1979 at the age of thirty-three. Less well known are the depth of his classical and gospel training, his wide-ranging intellectual interests, and the respect his musical knowledge, talent, and versatility commanded from collaborators like Curtis Mayfield and Aretha Franklin. Meanwhile, among listeners with special affinity for soul music of the 1970s, even almost thirty years after his death, no voice burns with the intensity of Hathaway's own in the great solo ballads and freedom songs such as "A Song for You," "Giving Up," "Someday We'll All Be Free," and "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black." Winners Have Yet to Be Announced pushes poetry toward the rich characterization and depth of a novel. Yet it is the capacity of poetic language that allows the book to examine Donny Hathaway's vivid and remarkable life without attempting to resolve the mysteries within which he lived and created and sang.
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