I’ve just finished Macnolia, a wonderful collection of thematic poems by A. Van Jordan. Van Jordan’s work is a discourse on gender and race in the context of the life of a woman named Macnolia Cox Montiere. Macnolia’s life was shaped irrevocably when she, an African-American girl, was wrongfully denied top prize at the 1936 Akron Spelling Bee. Van Jordan does a wonderful job of exorcising ghosts in an effort to resurrect history and pay homage to an extraordinary individual. Additionally, the structure of his poetry, some of which is experimental, makes many of his poems truly haunting—and their message about the importance of revealing truth entirely vital.