For anyone interested in the auspicious beginnings of "one of the finest poets of our time" (San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle), this book is a small treasure. Dear John, Dear Coltrane was Michael S. Harper's first book of poems and a nominee for the National Book Award. Of it the Virginia Quarterly Reviewobserved: "Harper's is a poetry of classically unadorned statement, a direct, unflinching record of a man alive in his time. When he is at his best, in both his public and his private voice, he creates a language humming with emotion and ennobled by a deeply felt human dignity." In each of his subsequent books over the past fifteen years, Harper has more than vindicated that early praise. He continues to write poetry that resonates with passion, power, honesty, and craft. Always deeply rooted in the black experience, it nevertheless has been a poetry that speaks to all readers.