Monday, August 1, 2011

African American Poetry During the 1990s: Some notable occurrences

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).


Tara said...

There will be more notable occurrences noted, right? I'd like to see them. Thanks for sharing.

H. Rambsy said...

Sure. I'll add to the list.

Then...once I get it in me, I'll try to do an 80s list and one from 2000-2010.