Cornelius Eady's Brutal Imagination: Background information when reading Killer Verse

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Killer Verse

Poems of Murder and Mayhem

By Harold Schechter (editor), Kurt Brown (editor)

Killer Verse

Book Reviewed by:
Marnie Colton

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Cornelius Eady's Brutal Imagination

The chilling topic of filicide (the killing of one's child) casts a shadow over the pages of Killer Verse, as it recurs throughout several sections of the book - most powerfully in Cornelius Eady's "Birthing," a key poem from his cycle, Brutal Imagination, which was inspired by the murder of two young boys by their mother.

For nine days in the fall of 1994, the citizens of Union, South Carolina, as well as an increasing number of people throughout the United States, believed that Susan Smith had suffered the worst tragedy a mother could experience: the abduction of her two sons, Michael (age 3) and Alex (age 14 months), by a mysterious figure who had carjacked her at night on an abandoned road. Media coverage soon expanded from local news outlets to national talk shows and magazines, with Susan and her husband David pleading with the carjacker to safely return their sons. Flyers featuring a vague drawing of the alleged abductor, an African-American man wearing a knit cap, ...

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