Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Black Arts Enterprise

Later this year, the University of Michigan Press will publish my book The Black Arts Enterprise and the Production of African American Poetry.

My book explains the publication matters and social factors that empowered poets to produce one of the most defining moments in American literary history during the 1960s and 1970s.

I’ve been working on the project for years now, and I’m hoping this study will help to build our understanding of African American artistic activities and compositions. I'm also hoping that my book can serve as a useful contribution to the scholarly writings produced on black poetry by folks like Aldon Nielsen, James Smethurst, Melba Boyd, Tony Bolden, Eugene B. Redmond, and several others.

The Black Arts Enterprise illuminates the workings of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s and accounts for the ways that a diverse group of poets collaborated with editors, publishers, visual artists, critics, and fellow writers to produce a dynamic body of anthologies, periodicals, individual volumes, and audio recordings featuring black verse.

In addition to pinpointing how literary magazines, anthologies, and artistic collaborations enhanced the implications and reach of black poetry, I explain how a large number of poets wrote about topics such as music and political activism, which was most pronounced in their numerous tributes to John Coltrane and Malcolm X.

My project highlights the works and careers of Amiri Baraka, Haki Madhubuti, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, and Quincy Troupe, to name just a few, and I examine the contributions of editors Dudley Randall and Hoyt Fuller and poet-essayists Larry Neal, Carolyn Rodgers, and Eugene B. Redmond.

When the book is published, I hope that you’ll check it out.

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