Called the "Christ of New Orleans" by Andrei Codrescu, Everette Maddox was a New Orleans legend, a poet whose mythos made it hard to know who he really was. Broke and often homeless, but with a distinctive taste for style and glamour, Maddox was a character well suited for the contradictions of New Orleans life. As Ralph Adamo remarks in his introduction, "We each have our own Everette, and then we have the poems." In this collection, editor Adamo has selected the best from Maddox’s published collections as well as many poems unpublished to date. Adamo’s impeccable selection and thematic ordering provide a frame uniquely appropriate to Maddox’s work; even the most famous of his poems seem to take on new, surprising dimensions.
"In all the thunderous herd of contemporary poetry, I don’t think I know anyone who has so completely captured his own voice, his own being, in his work as Everette Maddox. This book is Everette Maddox." —Leon Stokesbury
"[This work] captures so palpably the nuances of Maddox’s speaking voice that to read it is to almost touch the man; the savage-world-cartooning wit, the sense of beauty and civilization, the carnal-cry, the fascination with history, the resigned and stoically self-caricaturing romantic. It is, as Bob Woolf pointed out…jazz…New Orleans jazz…”" —Rodney Jones
During his lifetime, Everette Maddox (1944 -1989) was considered by his following to be the unofficial poet laureate of New Orleans. He was a founder of the Maple Leaf Poetry Reading series and is the subject of the radio documentary He Was A Mess: The Short Life of New Orleans Poet Everette Maddox by David Kunian.