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Understanding Etheridge Knight
     

Understanding Etheridge Knight

by Michael Collins
 

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Understanding Etheridge Knight introduces readers to a major--but understudied--American poet. Etheridge Knight (1931-1991) survived a shrapnel wound suffered during military service in Korea, as well as a drug addiction that led to an eight-year prison sentence, to publish five volumes of poetry and a small cache of powerful prose. His status in the front ranks

Overview


Understanding Etheridge Knight introduces readers to a major--but understudied--American poet. Etheridge Knight (1931-1991) survived a shrapnel wound suffered during military service in Korea, as well as a drug addiction that led to an eight-year prison sentence, to publish five volumes of poetry and a small cache of powerful prose. His status in the front ranks of American poets and thinkers on poetry was acknowledged in 1984, when he won the Shelley Memorial Award, which had previously gone, as an acknowledgement of "genius and need," to E.E. Cummings, Gwendolyn Brooks, and W. S. Merwin.
In this first book-length study of Knight and his complete body of work, Michael Collins examines the poetry of a complex literary figure who, following imprisonment, transformed his life to establish himself as a charismatic voice in American poetry and an accomplished teacher at institutions such as the University of Hartford, Lincoln University, and his own Free Peoples Poetry Workshops.
Beginning with a concise biography of Knight, Collins explores Knight's volumes of poetry including Poems from Prison, Black Voices from Prison, Born of a Woman, and The Essential Etheridge Knight. Understanding Etheridge Knight brings attention to a crucial era in African American and American poetry, and to the literature of the incarcerated, while reflecting on the life and work of an original voice in American poetry.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Michael S. Collins's Understanding Etheridge Knight (So. Car.) admirably fills the need for a thoroughly researched, discerning study of the life and work of Knight." --Poetry: The 1940s to the Present (Frank J. Kearful)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611170665
Publisher:
University of South Carolina Press
Publication date:
06/30/2012
Series:
Understanding Contemporary American Literature Series
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author


Michael Collins is an associate professor of English at Texas A&M University. He has published essays and creative works in PMLA, Modern Philology, Michigan Quarterly Review, Callaloo, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, The Best American Poetry 2003, and elsewhere.

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