Power and Possibility: Essays, Reviews, and Interviews

Power and Possibility: Essays, Reviews, and Interviews

by Elizabeth Alexander
     
 

ISBN-10: 0472069373

ISBN-13: 9780472069378

Pub. Date: 08/10/2007

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

A volume in the Poets on Poetry series, which collects critical works by contemporary poets, gathering together the articles, interviews, and book reviews by which they have articulated the poetics of a new generation.

Elizabeth Alexander is considered one of the country's most gifted contemporary poets, and the publication of her essays in The Black Interior<

Overview

A volume in the Poets on Poetry series, which collects critical works by contemporary poets, gathering together the articles, interviews, and book reviews by which they have articulated the poetics of a new generation.

Elizabeth Alexander is considered one of the country's most gifted contemporary poets, and the publication of her essays in The Black Interior in 2004 established her as an astute critic and cultural commentator as well. Arnold Rampersad has called Alexander "one of the brightest stars in our literary sky . . . a superb, invaluable commentator on the American scene." In this new collection of her essays, reviews, and interviews, Alexander again focuses on African American artistic production, particularly poetry, and the cultural contexts in which it is created and experienced.

The book's first section, "Black Arts 101," takes up the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Sterling Brown, Lucille Clifton, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Rita Dove (among others); artist Romare Bearden; dancer Bill T. Jones; and dramatist August Wilson. A second section, "Black Feminist Thinking," provides engaging meditations ranging from "My Grandmother's Hair" and "A Very Short History of Black Women and Food" to essays on the legacies of Toni Cade, Audre Lorde, and June Jordan. The collection's final section, "Talking," includes interviews, a commencement address—-"Black Graduation"—-and the essay "Africa and the World."

Elizabeth Alexander received a B.A. from Yale University, an M.A. from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania. She has published four books of poems: The Venus Hottentot (1990); Body of Life (1996); Antebellum Dream Book (2001); and, most recently, American Sublime (2005), which was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. Her play, Diva Studies, was produced at the Yale School of Drama. She is presently Professor of American and African American Studies at Yale University.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780472069378
Publisher:
University of Michigan Press
Publication date:
08/10/2007
Series:
Poets on Poetry Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.35(w) x 8.01(h) x 0.55(d)

Table of Contents

Contents Introduction....................1
I. Black Arts 101 Dunbar Lives!....................9
Sterling Brown: Where Academic Meets Vernacular....................20
Nerudiana....................25
Ode to Miss Gwendolyn Brooks (Ten Small Serenades)....................28
The Genius of Romare Bearden....................33
Lucille....................45
Living in Americas: Poems by Victor Hernández Cruz....................47
The Yellow House on the Corner and Beyond: Rita Dove on the Edge of Domesticity....................52
The One Who Went Before and Showed the Way: Remembering August Wilson....................62
Bill T. Jones Still/Here....................68
II. Black Feminist Thinking My Grandmother's Hair....................73
"Imitations of Life"? A Very Short History of Black Women and Food in Popular Iconography from Jemima to Oprah, or, When Is a Pancake Not Just a Pancake?....................81
Toni Cade's The Black Woman: An Anthology....................90
"Coming Out Blackened and Whole": Fragmentation and Reintegration in Audre Lorde's Zami and The Cancer Journals....................95
Black Alive and Looking Straight at You: The Legacy of June Jordan....................116
Memory, Community, Voice....................121
Kitchen Table Blues....................134
III. Talking A Conversation with Deborah Keenan and Diane LeBlanc....................139
Who Is the Self in Language? / Rooted in Language: An Interview with Meta DuEwa Jones....................154
Black Graduates' Celebration....................172
Africa and the World....................178
Notes....................183
Acknowledgments....................187

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