Lately on my blog, I have been writing about contemporary developments in African American poetry. But recently, I was inspired to look back and see what was happening during the 1990s to get us to this contemporary moment.
What follows is a cursory glance of a few notable occurrences related to poetry.
1990 -- Elizabeth Alexander’s volume The Venus Hottentot is reviewed in the New York Times Book Review; Thylias Moss's Rainbow Remnants in Rock Bottom Ghetto Sky is a winner of the National Poetry series; first National Poetry Slam takes place in in San Francisco; Patricia Smith wins National Poetry Slam individual competition.
1991 -- Thylias Moss receives Whiting Foundation award; Eugene B. Redmond founds Drumvoices Revue literary and cultural magazine; Patricia Smith wins National Poetry Slam individual competition.
1992 -- Derek Walcott wins the Nobel Prize for Literature; Kevin Young awarded a Stegner Fellowship; Audre Lorde dies (November 17).
1993 -- Maya Angelou reads “On the Pulse of Morning” at Bill Clinton inauguration; Yseuf Komunyakaa's Noon Vernacular wins the Pulitzer Prize for poetry; Kevin Young's Most Way Home National Poetry Series winner [selected by Lucille Clifton];Nathaniel Mackey receives Whiting Foundation Award for poetry/fiction; Essex Hemphill receives Pew Fellowship in the Arts; Patricia Smith wins National Poetry Slam individual competition; Eugene B. Redmond's Eye in the Ceiling receives American Book Award.
1994 -- Joanne Gabbin of James Madison University convenes Furious Flower Poetry Conference; Rita Dove named U.S. Poet Laureate.
1995 -- Major Jackson receives a Pew Fellowship in the Arts; Helene Johnson dies; Essex Hemphill dies (November 4); Patricia Smith wins National Poetry Slam individual competition.
1996 -- Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady found Cave Canem writing retreat; Jessica Care Moore wins 5 consecutive compeitions on Showtime at the Apollo, becoming first poet to win on the show.
1997-- Jessica Care Moore founds independent publisher Moore Black Press.
1998 -- Film Slam is released starring Saul Williams, film wins the Grand Jury Prize for a Dramatic Film at the Sundance Film Festival ; Ed Roberson's Atmosphere Conditions is a winner for the National Poetry Series; Margaret Walker dies (November 30).