Stock Image

Fettered Genius: The African American Bardic Poet from Slavery to Civil Rights

Keith D. Leonard

0 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0813925053 / ISBN 13: 9780813925059
Published by University of Virginia Press, 2005
Condition: Good Hardcover
From Books Express (Portsmouth, NH, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since August 14, 2015 Seller Rating 4-star rating

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 97.29 Convert Currency
Shipping: Free Within U.S.A. Destination, rates & speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Shipping & Handling by region. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Bookseller Inventory # 0813925053

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: Fettered Genius: The African American Bardic...

Publisher: University of Virginia Press

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Good

About this title


In Fettered Genius, Keith D. Leonard identifies how African American poets’ use and revision of traditional poetics constituted an antiracist political agency. Comparing this practice to the use of poetic mastery by the ancient Celtic bards to resist British imperialism, Leonard shows how traditional poetics enable African American poets to insert racial experience, racial protest, and African American culture into public discourse by making them features of validated artistic expression. As with the Celtic bards, these poets’ artistry testified to their marginalized people’s capacity for imagination and reason within and against the terms of the dominant culture.

In an ambitious survey that moves from slavery to the cultural nationalism of the 1960s, Leonard examines numerous poets, placing each in the context of his or her time to demonstrate the antiracist meaning of their accomplishments. The book offers new insight on the conservatism of Phillis Wheatley, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and the genteel members of the Harlem Renaissance, how their rage for assimilation functioned to refute racist notions of difference and, paradoxically, to affirm a distinctive racial experience as valid material for poetry. Leonard also demonstrates how the more progressive and ethnically distinctive poetics of Langston Hughes, Sterling Brown, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden, and Melvin B. Tolson share some of the same ambivalence about cultural achievement as those of the earlier poets. They also have in common the self-conscious pursuit of an affirmation of the African American self through the substitution of African American vernacular language and cultural forms for traditional poetic themes and forms. The evolution of these poetics parallels the emergence of notions of ethnic identity over racial identity and, indeed, in some ways even motivated this shift.

Leonard recognizes poetic mastery as the African American bardic poet’s most powerful claim of ethnic tradition and of social belonging and clarifies the full hybrid complexity of African American identity that makes possible this political self-assertion. The development that is traced in Fettered Genius illustrates nothing less than the defining artistic coherence and political significance of the African American poetic tradition.

About the Author:

Keith D. Leonard is Assistant Professor of Literature at American University. His work has appeared in African American Review and The Oxford Companion to African American Literature.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

Buy with confidence. Excellent customer service. 30 day return policy.

Books Express LLC
318 US Route 1, STE 2
Kittery ME 03904

Shipping Terms:

Standard and expedited shipping options include shipping and handling costs. Default shipping is by USPS Media Mail and frequently USPS Priority Mail or UPS Ground is used. Books should arrive within 10-14 business days for expedited shipping, and 20-30 business days for standard shipping. Standard shipping can on occasion take up to 30 days for delivery.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order PayPal Invoice Bank Draft Bank/Wire Transfer Direct Debit (Personally Authorized Payment)