Sunday, August 14, 2011

Black Poetry published by Graywolf Press

We have a large number of number of volumes of poetry in our black studies poetry collection published by Graywolf Press. (The same can be said of books in our collection published by W. W. Norton, Knopf, and Third World Press).

Our collection has 104 volumes of poetry published between 2000 and 2011, and the following 10 were published by Graywolf Press:

• Alexander, Elizabeth. American Sublime. 2005.
• Alexander, Elizabeth. Antebellum Dream Book. 2001.
• Alexander, Elizabeth. Praise Song for the Day. 2009.
• Alexander, Elizabeth. Crave Radiance: New and Selected Poems. 2010.
• Ellis, Thomas Sayers. The Maverick Room. 2005.
• Ellis, Thomas Sayers. Skin Inc.: Identity Repair Poems. 2010.
• Mullen, Harryette. Recyclopedia: Trimmings, S*PeRM**K*T, and Muse and Drudge. 2006.
• Smith, Tracy K. The Body's Question. 2003.
• Trethewey, Natasha. Domestic Work. 2000.
• Trethewey, Natasha. Bellocq's Ophelia. 2002.

Founded in 1974, Graywolf is young, relatively speaking. Still, the press has had many important successes over the years. Having one of its poets, Elizabeth Alexander, chosen to read her poem at Barack Obama's presidential inauguration in 2009 was certainly a major accomplishment for Graywolf.

A year after publishing Alexander’s Praise Song for the Day as a booklet, Graywolf Press published a collection of Alexander’s new and selected poems Crave Radiance.

Over the past year, Thomas Sayers Ellis’s book Skin Inc. has received considerable attention, especially in the context of poetry coverage. Beyond even the poems, it’s worth noting that Ellis’s book includes some of his photographs.

In addition to publishing Tracy K. Smith’s The Body’s Question, Graywolf also published her books Duende (2007) and Life on Mars (2011). When funds allow, we will try to add those two to our collection.

Natasha Trethewey published her first two books with Graywolf before going on to publish her Pulitzer Prize-winning Native Guard with Houghton Mifflin.

Going forward, I’ll be interested to see what new African American poets begin publishing with Graywolf. I imagine upcoming poets who have followed the coverage on Alexander and Ellis, for instance, have taken note of their publisher. At the same time, I would think that the folks at Graywolf are interested in extending their practice of attracting such talented and successful poets.

Related Content:
Black Poetry published by W. W. Norton and Co.
104 African American Volumes of Poetry by Publisher, 2000-2011 

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