Thursday, April 2, 2020

Bad Men: Creative Touchstones of Black Writers

I've been researching and writing this book Bad Men: Creative Touchstones of Black Writers for the last few years. So I'm glad that it's finally out. I'm hoping the book contributes in some way to at least two fields of knowledge -- African American literary studies and creativity studies.

Though I started writing in a formal way a few years ago, I've been running my mind through and around these interrelated topics for an extended period of time. On the one hand, I was reading and re-reading a core group of black men writers who made defiant and troubling men central to their compositions. At the same time, I was reading a variety of works about vulnerable black boys, perhaps most notably with Trayvon Martin amd Mike Brown.

With trial, error, and many revisions along the way, I formulated a full project that allowed me to explore those topics. I wrote chapters about:
• bad men in poetry volumes by Tyehimba Jess, Adrian Matejka, and Kevin Young.
• bad men in poetry and rap lyrics.
• sellouts as bad men as expressed by Paul Beatty and Amiri Baraka.
• how Aaron McGruder utilized two black boys as the basis for compelling creative output.
• how black boys Martin and Brown stimulated creativity from Ta-Nehisi Coates and Trymaine Lee.

I hope you'll check the book out when and if you get a chance.

You can order Bad Men from the University of Virginia Press. Receive a 30% discount by using the promo code: 10BAD30.

A notebook on Bad Men: Creative Touchstones of Black Writers

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