Post-Jazz Poetics: A Social History

Overview

African-American expressive arts draw upon multiple traditions of formal experimentation in the service of social change. Within these traditions, Jennifer D. Ryan demonstrates that black women have created literature, music, and political statements signifying some of the most incisive and complex elements of modern American culture.  Post-Jazz Poetics: A Social History examines the jazz-influenced work of five twentieth-century African-American women poets: Sherley Anne Williams, Sonia Sanchez, Jayne ...

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Overview

African-American expressive arts draw upon multiple traditions of formal experimentation in the service of social change. Within these traditions, Jennifer D. Ryan demonstrates that black women have created literature, music, and political statements signifying some of the most incisive and complex elements of modern American culture.  Post-Jazz Poetics: A Social History examines the jazz-influenced work of five twentieth-century African-American women poets: Sherley Anne Williams, Sonia Sanchez, Jayne Cortez, Wanda Coleman, and Harryette Mullen.  These writers’ engagements with jazz-based compositional devices represent a new strand of radical black poetics, while their renditions of local-to-global social critique sketch the outlines of a transnational feminism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“With utmost sophistication, Ryan explores the contextual dynamics of contemporary African-American feminist poetry. Using the work of five post-jazz women poets as the material for analysis, she identifies varied ideological underpinnings of artistic practices.  She maps out inter-medial and inter-discursive spaces where the poetic engages with the performative, the bodily, the social, and the economic. With its argument built around the most aesthetically productive and politically provoking categories, Post-Jazz Poetics is a major voice in the debate on the present state of African-American letters.”—Marek Paryz, Assistant Professor, Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw and editor of the Polish Jourbanal for American Studies

Post-Jazz Poetics articulates a discernable, significant, ongoing jazz poetic in the work of five black women poets, a body of work and a group of poets virtually ignored (to date) as a force in literary criticism. Moreover, Ryan does it without formula or reductive analysis. Each author’s individual genealogy is respected and, indeed, shown as essential to understanding their particular work in jazz poetry.”—Malin Pereira, Professor of English, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and author of Rita Dove’s Cosmopolitanism

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230623156
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 5/15/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer D. Ryan is Assistant Professor of English at Buffalo State College.  She has published essays in Modern Fiction Studies, Feminist Teacher, Women and Performance, and The Geographical Imagination of Annie Proulx: Rethinking Regionalism.  Her next project is a study of emerging revisionist trends in biographical criticism of the Confessional poets.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Permissions

Introduction: How Do I Make that Sound? A New Feminist Poetics 1

1 Finding Her Voice: The Body Politics of Sherley Anne Williams's Blues 19

2 Nationhood Re-Formed: Revolutionary Style and Practice in Sonia Sanchez's Jazz Poetics 47

3 Talk to Me: Ecofeminist Disruptions in the Jazz Poetry of Jayne Cortez 79

4 Shape-Shifting: The Urban Geographies of Wanda Coleman's Jazz Poetry 109

5 Jazz's Word for It: Harryette Mullen and the Politics of Intellectualism 141

Conclusion: "Too Many Books For Our Eyes"; Future Politics, Future Poetries 173

Notes 181

Bibliography 199

Index 217

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