The Garden Thrives: Twentieth-Century African-American Poetry

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9780060951214: The Garden Thrives: Twentieth-Century African-American Poetry

The Garden Thrives: 20th Century African-American Poetry, edited by Clarence Major, collects the best of what African-American poets have to offer. Featuring works that span from the turn of the century through the Harlem Renaissance and the profoundly political 1960s and '70s to the diversity of contemporary society, The Garden Thrives is the first truly comprehensive anthology of 20th-century African-American poetry.

The Garden Thrives showcases luminaries and heretofore lesser-knowns, with pieces by well-known contemporary poets, standouts from the Harlem Renaissance and works from the turn of the century, when many black American poets published to a solely black audience. The Garden Thrives contains the work of nearly 100 poets, including Nobelist Derek Walcott; Pulitzer-winners Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa and Gwendolyn Brooks; Paul Laurence Dunbar; Jean Toomer; Langston Hughes; Arna Bontemps; Countee Cullen; Audre Lorde; Alice Walker; Robert Hayden; Esses Hemphill; Ntozake Shange and Nikki Giovanni.

As the end of the century approaches, The Garden Thrives eloquently demonstrates that African-American poets have been instrumental in defining and advancing the aesthetic of poetry in this country.

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From Library Journal:

Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Gwendolyn Brooks loom over this anthology of almost 100 20th-century African American poets. Hughes's immortal lament for a "dream deferred," McKay's memorable "The Lynching," and Brooks's moving "Bronzeville Woman in a Red Hat"?great American poems by any standards?retain a universal largeness. The quality of the poetry is quite high. These many distinctive voices, exploring a legacy of injustice and racism, represent a fundamental achievement of American poetry. Editor Major (English, University of California,?Davis) includes black poets who "trace some of their ancestors to Africa and who have lived as blacks in the United States, irrespective of where, in the Diaspora, they happened to have been born." This valuable, comprehensive work arranges poets in chronological order by year of birth. Includes an author's note, biographical notes, and 17-page introduction but no index. Recommended for all libraries.?Frank Allen, Northamption Community Coll., Tannersville, Pa.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

There are nearly 100 contributors in this massive companion volume to the well-received Calling the Wind: 20th-Century African-American Short Stories, also edited by Major. Along with the expected contributors (e.g., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Audre Lorde and Rita Dove), works by less-recognized writers appear. There are the proud, gentle poems of Angela Weld Grimk (1880-1958); Gerald Barrax's quiet lyrics; cutting portraits of New York City by Henry Dumas (1934-1968); Ellease Southerland's explorations of her spiritual and physical relationship with her African heritage; Essex Hemphill's tragicomic image of nailing Barbie doll heads to telephone poles. In his overview, Major, a professor at UC-Davis, traces African American poetry back to slavery and spirituals but also cites the influence of white poets (e.g., William Carlos Williams) in the work of several contributors. He also considers less worthy efforts, particularly early in this century, in this valuable resource.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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