Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem's First Decade

Overview


Cave Canem has for the past ten years dedicated itself to the discovery and cultivation of new voices in African American poetry. Founded in 1996 by prizewinning poets Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady, Cave Canem began as a weeklong summer workshop/retreat and has now expanded to include regional workshops, poetry readings, a series of public conversations between major poets and emerging younger poets, and an annual first-book prize.

To mark the first decade of this ...

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Overview


Cave Canem has for the past ten years dedicated itself to the discovery and cultivation of new voices in African American poetry. Founded in 1996 by prizewinning poets Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady, Cave Canem began as a weeklong summer workshop/retreat and has now expanded to include regional workshops, poetry readings, a series of public conversations between major poets and emerging younger poets, and an annual first-book prize.

To mark the first decade of this pathbreaking project, Gathering Ground presents more than one hundred poems by Cave Canem participants and faculty. It embraces an impressive and eclectic gathering of forms, including sonnets, a bop (a new form created by a Cave Canem faculty member), blues, sestinas, prose poems, centos, free verse, and more. The roster of distinguished contributors includes Lucille Clifton, Yusef Komunyakaa, Marilyn Nelson, Sonya Sanchez, Al Young, and many others.

For newcomers and aficionados alike, Gathering Ground assembles in one place the most innovative voices in contemporary African American poetry and boldly attests to the important position it holds in verse-making today.

Toi Derricotte is author of the memoir The Black Notebooks and of four books of poetry: Tender, Captivity, Natural Birth, and The Empress of the Death House. She is Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. Cornelius Eady is the author of Brutal Imagination, Autobiography of a Jukebox, You Don't Miss Your Water, The Gathering of My Name, and Victims of the Latest Dance Craze. He is Associate Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472069248
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 1/10/2006
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

For Mairead 13
Peeling off the skin 14
When 17
The taste of apples 18
Seven crown man 19
Bop poem 21
L. L. Benbow relates the circumstances surrounding Vernell Spraggins's recent ejection from Hell 22
Miranda remembers Cuba, 1974 24
For those who need a true story 26
Spirit led 28
Marchers headed for Washington, Baltimore 1963 30
H.N.I.C. (head nigger in charge) 32
Crossing over 35
Thirty mile woman : Sixo's song 36
Detailing the nape 37
Dreadlocks 38
Blessing the lepers 39
Coil 40
[Surely I am able to write poems] 42
Sister 43
Twelve year poem 44
Robbing hoods 46
Haint 48
Standing ground 49
Search for Robert Hayden 50
Carapace 51
Atlantic coasts 52
Tall man flies 54
Juke joint Josephine 56
My dad & sardines 57
A love supreme 58
Mug shot pedigree 60
The street of look behind 61
Code 63
I'm a fool to love you 64
Uncollected Ghazal 66
Music lesson 67
True autumn 68
Stewards 70
Worship 71
Is 73
Saturday nights at the Bug Inn, 1986 74
A human landscape : on coyotes 75
Corner yard 76
Unclean : make me 77
Zeitgeist o : Zeitgeist 63-69 78
Talkin' back to Mama 80
Palimpsest 81
Of 82
Goodbye porkpie hat 83
Pheu 84
Coward 86
MT in solitary 87
In Toni Morrison's head 88
Pine 90
Lovely's song 92
Nigger Street 1937 95
Summer 96
Love worn 98
Poem for a second 99
The chosen one 101
Family outing 102
from Urban renewal, xvi : "what of my fourth grade teacher at Reynolds Elementary" 103
Muse, a lady cautioning 104
Bud Russel, Louisiana prison transfer man, 1920 105
Spirit of the dead watching 106
Listen 107
In the quarter 108
Kind of blue 109
The now of Aunt Marie 111
The haymarket 112
Soprano 113
Response to Pasiphae 114
The blue hour 115
Clair de Lune 116
Long way home 117
The sniff 118
Yellow is in the eye of the beholder 119
Christ and Magdalene 121
The devil is beating his wife again 123
Artificial insemination of a working-class lesbian 124
Understanding Al Green 125
An offering 127
The first time we heard "Flyin' home" 128
One more silver dollar 129
The temple of greed & mildew 131
Relapse of winter in Frankfurt 132
What a snakehead discovered in a Maryland pond and a poet in corporate America have in common 133
Tap-root 134
A quiet rhythm of sleep 136
Drinking Mojitos in Cuba Libre 138
Woman with a Chignon 139
In the way that longing is, a sonnet cento for Cave Canem 140
Winter after the strike 142
The only shine on the Titanic 144
Ode to the Triays of Amelia 147
Under a soprano sky 149
Ambition : II : mosquito in the mist 150
W.E.B. in Ghana 153
Parade of flesh 154
The poet, 1955 156
Asking for a heart attack 157
Duende 158
Exile propriety 160
Mete 162
Border town 163
Dress 164
West Indian girl contemplates the push 165
Wild like that 166
Miscegenation 167
Maul 168
Prophet as slow bird 170
Silver rights 171
Charleston 172
259 Brooklyn Avenue 174
The early brilliance of Dwayne 176
Book of Ruth 177
These bones 179
Prescription or for what ails you or poetry on demand 182
Garden of Eden blues 184
Nola 185
Good news from the river 187
To go for broke 188
Hard headed blues 189
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