Friday, October 7, 2011

Allison Joseph and Productivity in Poetry

Allison Joseph, like poets Elizabeth Alexander, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Jessica Care Moore, Patricia Smith, and Kevin Young, began gaining wide visibility in the early 1990s and has maintained an important presence on literary scenes for nearly two decades now. With 7 volumes of poetry, Joseph has been quite productive as a published (book) author. She has also regularly published poems in literary journals.

[Related content: The Rising Visibility of Black Women Poets]

For those follow Joseph's career, her large body of work gives us much to consider. There's always some poetry out there that she's written and published that you haven't ready yet. And you can trust that more of her poems are always on the way.

There are likely many other poets out there who are as highly productive in the composition of poems as Joseph, but the nature and challenges of getting published are such that only limited numbers of volumes of poetry by select writers will come into print. It is especially rare to see a poet, an African American woman poet, no less, with Joseph's publication record.

Joseph's abilities and enviable persistence composing and publishing so many works over the years are inspiring, intimidating, and instructive. Her career provides numerous models of what it means to lead an active artistic life for an extended amount of time. Allison Joseph will likely continue to extend her already remarkable body of work, and we'll continue to follow her and take notes.

Allison Joseph Week

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