Friday, January 15, 2016

Stunning beauty of contemporary volumes of African American poetry

Nate Marshall
When I came across Nate Marshall's Wild Hundreds, I was reminded of the the stunning beauty of contemporary volumes of African American poetry. Somehow I hadn't really paid attention until Evie Shockley's the new black (2011) was published. I saw the cover of her book and declared to myself that it was the most wonderful contemporary volume that I owned.

But then, just to verify, I removed all the volumes I owned from the shelf, spread them on the floor, and took a look. I was surrounded by several volumes with stunning covers that I had somehow overlooked. Since that time, I paid closer attention.

Here's a round-up of just a few of the books. Thanks so much to my talented photographer Psyche Southwell for showcasing the images.

Evie Shockley's the new black
A selection of Graywolf Press books

Books by Elizabeth Alexander

Adrian Matejka's The Big Smoke

Books by Kevin Young

Books by Nikki Giovanni

Books by Ai

Books by Marilyn Nelson, Frank X. Walker, Reginald Flood, and Quraysh Ali Lasana
Jason McCall's Dear Hero

Reginald Harris's Autogeography

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