Sunday, July 26, 2015

Black Poetry and the History Section: a partial list

Here's a partial list (far from exhaustive) of several volumes published after 2000 concentrating on aspects of history. There was ongoing conversation at the NEH-Institute Black Poetry after the Black Arts Movement about poets focusing on history, and this list sheds a little light on that interest. In fact, these volumes could comfortably fit in the "history sections" at bookstores.

2000: Domestic Work by Natasha Trethewey
2001: Antebellum Dream Book by Elizabeth Alexander
2001: Carver by Marilyn Nelson
2001: To Repel Ghosts: Five Shades in B Minor by Kevin Young 
2002: Bellocq's Ophelia by Natasha Trethewey
2004: M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A by A. Van Jordan
2004: They Shall Run by Quraysh A. Lansana
2004: Lot's Daughters by Opal Moore
2004: Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem by Marilyn Nelson
2004:  Buffalo Dance by Frank X. Walker
2005: Leadbelly by Tyehimba Jess
2005: A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson
2006: Blue-Tail Fly by Vievee Francis
2006: Red Summer by Amaud Jamaul Johnson
2006: Slave Moth by Thylias Moss
2007: Miss Crandall's School for Young Ladies & Little Misses of Color by Marilyn Nelson and Elizabeth Alexander
2008: Honoring the Ancestors by James E. Cherry
2008: When Winter Come by Frank X. Walker
2009: Sonata Mulattica by Rita Dove
2009: Cooling Board: A Long Playing Poem by Mitchell L. H. Douglas
2010: Suck on the Marrow by Camille Dungy
2010: Issac Murphy: I Dedicate This Ride Frank X. Walker
2011: Negro League Baseball by Harmony Holiday
2011: Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels by Kevin Young
2012: Coffle by Reginald Flood
2012: me and Nina by Monica Hand
2013: The Big Smoke  by Adrian Matejka
2013: Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers by Frank X. Walker
2013: The Cineaste: Poems by A. Van Jordan  
2014: How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson

Again, that list is only partial, and includes books that largely showcase historical accounts. There are several other works that include sections or several poems "about history" such as Rita Dove's American Smooth (2004), Patricia Smith's Blood Dazzler (2008), Evie Shockley's the new black (2011), and Celeste Doaks's Cornrows and Cornfields (2015) to name just a few.

A Notebook on Black Poetry After the Black Arts Movement

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