The Furious Flowering of African American Poetry

The Furious Flowering of African American Poetry

by Joanne V. Gabbin
     
 

AFRICAN-AMERICAN POETRY, with its wellsprings in jazz and vernacular culture and its inescapable political dimension, stands among the most important bodies of literary work of the twentieth century. This collection of essays and six lively interviews with practicing poets, arising from the now-famous Furious Flower Conference of 1994, provides a mosaic of the

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Overview

AFRICAN-AMERICAN POETRY, with its wellsprings in jazz and vernacular culture and its inescapable political dimension, stands among the most important bodies of literary work of the twentieth century. This collection of essays and six lively interviews with practicing poets, arising from the now-famous Furious Flower Conference of 1994, provides a mosaic of the major critical and aesthetic issues emerging from the poetry and its literary milieu.

African-American poets writing in the last fifty years have raised their voices in the struggle against racism, sexism, political and economic exploitation, violence, and injustice. Gwendolyn Brooks, Rita Dove, Haki Madhubuti, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka (aka LeRoi Jones), Joyce Ann Joyce, Sherley Anne Williams, Michael S. Harper, Margaret Walker and many others have created lyrical beauty in their exploration of public and private concerns. Unlike any previous scholarship, The Furious Flowering of African American Poetry draws readers into a dialogue with leading poets and critics of African-American literature and culture. The interviews and critical essays address the adequacy and appropriateness of theoretical models for assessing the work of black poets, the construction of a literary framework in which to place the poets and their work, and the art and purpose of the poets themselves.

Furious Flowering offers students, scholars, readers, and writers of African-American poetry a chance to take part in an unprecedented discussion of a complex literary culture.

University of Virginia Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813918419
Publisher:
University of Virginia Press
Publication date:
07/28/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
330
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Introduction: Essays and Conversations in African American Poetry1
Pt. 1African American Poetry and the Vernacular Matrix
Langston Hughes: A Poet Supreme17
Message to the Generations: The Mythic Hero in Sterling Brown's Poetry25
Langston Hughes and Melvin Tolson: Blues People38
Bardic Memory and Witness in the Poetry of Samuel Allen47
Rooted Displacement in Form: Rita Dove's Sonnet Cycle Mother Love60
Conversation77
Conversation91
Pt. 2Critical Theories and Approaches in African American Poetry
Bantu, Nkodi, Ndungu, and Nganga: Language, Politics, Music, and Religion in African American Poetry99
The Ballad, the Hero, and the Ride: A Reading of Sterling A. Brown's The Last Ride of Wild Bill118
Illocutionary Dimensions of Poetry: Lee's "A Poem to Complement Other Poems"135
Conversation147
Consciousness, Myth, and Transcendence: Symbolic Action in Three Poems on the Slave Trade154
Alice Walker: Poesy and the Earthling Psyche169
"The Calligraphy of Black Chant": Resiting African American Poetries182
Conversation194
Pt. 3Writing a Literary History of African American Poetry
African American Epic Poetry: The Long Foreshadowing209
Personal and Public: Three First-Person Voices in African American Poetry223
Conversation239
Blooming in the Whirlwind: The Early Poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks252
Conversation274
Song of Herself: Lucille Clifton's Poems about Womanhood281
"Flashbacks through the Heart": Yusef Komunyakaa and the Poetry of Self-Assertion298
What Is This New Thing?310
Contributors317
Index325

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