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The Monster I Am Today: Leontyne Price and a Life in Verse

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Leontyne Price remains one of the twentieth century’s most revered opera singers and, notably, the first African American to achieve such international acclaim. In movements encompassing poetry and prose, writer and musician Kevin Simmonds explores Price as an icon, a diva, a woman, and a patriot—and himself as a fan, a budding singer, and a gay man—through passages that m Leontyne Price remains one of the twentieth century’s most revered opera singers and, notably, the first African American to achieve such international acclaim. In movements encompassing poetry and prose, writer and musician Kevin Simmonds explores Price as an icon, a diva, a woman, and a patriot—and himself as a fan, a budding singer, and a gay man—through passages that move polyphonically through the contested spaces of Black identity, Black sound, Black sensibility, and Black history.   Structured operatically into overture, acts, and postlude, The Monster I Am Today guides the reader through associative shifts from arias like “weather events” and Price’s forty-two-minute final ovation to memories of Simmonds’s coming of age in New Orleans. As he melds lyric forms with the biography of one of classical music’s greatest virtuosos, Simmonds composes a duet that spotlights Price’s profound influence on him as a person and an artist: “That’s how I hear: Her.”


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Leontyne Price remains one of the twentieth century’s most revered opera singers and, notably, the first African American to achieve such international acclaim. In movements encompassing poetry and prose, writer and musician Kevin Simmonds explores Price as an icon, a diva, a woman, and a patriot—and himself as a fan, a budding singer, and a gay man—through passages that m Leontyne Price remains one of the twentieth century’s most revered opera singers and, notably, the first African American to achieve such international acclaim. In movements encompassing poetry and prose, writer and musician Kevin Simmonds explores Price as an icon, a diva, a woman, and a patriot—and himself as a fan, a budding singer, and a gay man—through passages that move polyphonically through the contested spaces of Black identity, Black sound, Black sensibility, and Black history.   Structured operatically into overture, acts, and postlude, The Monster I Am Today guides the reader through associative shifts from arias like “weather events” and Price’s forty-two-minute final ovation to memories of Simmonds’s coming of age in New Orleans. As he melds lyric forms with the biography of one of classical music’s greatest virtuosos, Simmonds composes a duet that spotlights Price’s profound influence on him as a person and an artist: “That’s how I hear: Her.”

36 review for The Monster I Am Today: Leontyne Price and a Life in Verse

  1. 4 out of 5

    James

    Lovely prose meditations on Leontyne Price's work and her impact on a lifelong student of voice. Lovely prose meditations on Leontyne Price's work and her impact on a lifelong student of voice.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Hulan

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steve Turtell

  5. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  6. 4 out of 5

    Giancarlo Latta

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kent Winward

  8. 4 out of 5

    Corinne

  9. 4 out of 5

    JoDee

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Papa

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pinot Chan

  12. 5 out of 5

    Northwestern University Press

  13. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jolene

  15. 5 out of 5

    Myni ~ myniturnspages

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

  17. 4 out of 5

    Smashley

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leo

  19. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

  20. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

  21. 5 out of 5

    afewsocks

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessie Pocock

  23. 4 out of 5

    RJ Kennedy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

  25. 5 out of 5

    SJ

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alex Rhea

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Hertel

  28. 4 out of 5

    Madi Bass

  29. 4 out of 5

    Izzy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Caleb

  31. 5 out of 5

    HT

  32. 5 out of 5

    Shay

  33. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  34. 4 out of 5

    CM

  35. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  36. 4 out of 5

    Trinity Miller

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