Black Music, Black Poetry: Blues and Jazz's Impact on African American Versification

 
9781138270565: Black Music, Black Poetry: Blues and Jazz's Impact on African American Versification

Black Music, Black Poetry offers readers a fuller appreciation of the diversity of approaches to reading black American poetry. It does so by linking a diverse body of poetry to musical genres that range from the spirituals to contemporary jazz. The poetry of familiar figures such as Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes and less well-known poets like Harryette Mullen or the lyricist to Pharaoh Sanders, Amos Leon Thomas, is scrutinized in relation to a musical tradition contemporaneous with the lifetime of each poet. Black music is considered the strongest representation of black American communal consciousness; and black poetry, by drawing upon such a musical legacy, lays claim to a powerful and enduring black aesthetic. The contributors to this volume take on issues of black cultural authenticity, of musical imitation, and of poetic performance as displayed in the work of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown, Amiri Baraka, Michael Harper, Nathaniel Mackey, Jayne Cortez, Harryette Mullen, and Amos Leon Thomas. Taken together, these essays offer a rich examination of the breath of black poetry and the ties it has to the rhythms and forms of black music and the influence of black music on black poetic practice.

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About the Author:

Gordon Thompson is Professor of English at City College of New York (CUNY), USA.

Review:

'Black Music, Black Poetry makes an important contribution to African American Studies, not least because Gordon Thompson has assembled a group of scholars who actually, truly listen to the music-and whose critical practice therefore exemplifies what interdisciplinarity at its best looks (and sounds) like.' --Jürgen E. Grandt, University of North Georgia, USA, author of Kinds of Blue: The Jazz Aesthetic in African American Narrative (2004) Narrative (2004)

... these essays provide rich insight into the fascinating subject of jazz, improvisatory music, and poetry, and how their forms and structures enhance each art form. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. --Choice

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THOMPSON, GORDON E.
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