While there have been countless books written about Detroit, none have captured its incredible musical history like this one. This collection of poems and lyrics covers numerous genres including jazz, blues, doo-wop, Motown, classic rock, punk, hip-hop, and techno. Detroit artists have forged the paths in many of these genres, producing waves of creative energy that continue to reverberate across the country and around the world. While documenting and celebrating this part of Detroit’s history, this book captures the emotions that the music inspired in its creators and in its listeners. The range of contributors speaks to the global impact of Detroit’s music scene—Grammy winners, Pulitzer Prize winners, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and poet laureates all come together in this rich and varied anthology, including such icons as Eminem, June Jordan, Fred “Sonic” Smith, Rita Dove, Jack White, Robbie Robertson, Paul Simon, Nikki Giovanni, Philip Levine, Sasha Frere-Jones, Patricia Smith, Billy Bragg, Andrei Codrescu, Toi Derricotte, and Cornelius Eady.
"It’s the history of music in Detroit. Certainly goes back, at least touches into, the early 20th century with some blues. . . . In this book, you’ve got lyrics by some of the great songwriters: Fats Dominos, Billy Bragg, Robbie Robertson, Gordon Lightfoot, Jack White, Eminem, and a bunch of others. Then there’s some poems of the great dead poets of Detroit: Robert Hayden, Philip Levine. Then there are poets of great national reputations who are either from Detroit or came through here and spent time here: Nikki Giovanni, Toi Derricotte, Edward Hirsch. And then there’s a bunch of the rest of us who just sort of hang out here, including me."~Michigan Radio NPR
"Both Liebler and Daniels have what can only be called musical rolodexes (an old-fashioned way of keeping contact information) that are a mile deep and a country wide. As an example, there aren’t many books that can boast work from the poets Phillip Levine, June Jordan, Rita Dove, Nikki Giovanni or Melba Joyce Boyd."~Bill Castanier, Lansing City Pulse
- 2021 Michigan Notable Book Award