Saturday, June 13, 2020

Another checklist of scholarly books on black poetry

The Poetry Foundation recently released a statement concerning their "Commitment to Our Community." At one point, they stated that one of their action items would involve "Seeking to partner with an individual or team of Black historian(s) to research and document the debt that the Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine owes to Black poets in extensive detail."

Why would they say, "black historians" and not black literary scholars? Perhaps it was just an oversight. Or, maybe they are unaware of the rich tradition of scholarship produced on poetry by black folks and others. Beyond even the Poetry Foundation, I'm curious about what makes it possible for black literary scholars to be ignored.

Whatever the case, here (again) is a non-exhaustive checklist of black literary scholars and the work that they've been producing:

1976: Drumvoices: The Mission of Afro-American Poetry: a Critical History by Eugene B. Redmond
1985: Sterling A. Brown: Building the Black Aesthetic by Joanne V. Gabbin
1997: Jazz Poetry: From the 1920s to the Present by Sascha Feinstein
1999: The Furious Flowering of African American Poetry edited by Joanne V. Gabbin
1999: Dudley Randall, Broadside Press and the Black Arts Movement in Detroit, 1960-1995 by Julius E. Thompson
1999: The New Red Negro: The Literary Left and African American Poetry, 1930-1946 James Smethurst
1999: New Negro, Old Left William Maxwell
1999: Performing the Word: African American Poetry As Vernacular Culture by Fahamisha Patricia Brown
2000: Extraordinary Measures: Afrocentric Modernism and 20th-Century American Poetry by Lorenzo Thomas
2000: Performing Blackness: Enactments of African-American Modernism by Kimberly W. Benston
2001: Black Protest Poetry: Polemics from the Harlem Renaissance and the Sixties by Margaret Ann Reid
2001: Amiri Baraka: The Politics and Art of a Black Intellectual by Jerry Watts
2004: The Black Interior by Elizabeth Alexander
2004: Afro-Blue: Improvisations in African American Poetry and Culture by Tony Bolden
2004: Wrestling with the Muse: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press by Melba Joyce Boyd
2004: Wild Blessings: The Poetry of Lucille Clifton Hilary Holladay
2004: "After Mecca": Women Poets and the Black Arts Movement by Cheryl Clarke
2004: Integral Music: Languages of African-American Innovation by Aldon Lynn Nielsen
2005: The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s by James Smethurst
2006: New Thoughts on the Black Arts Movement ed. b Lisa Gail Collins and Margo Crawford
2006: Fettered Genius: The African American Bardic Poet from Slavery to Civil Rights by Keith D. Leonard
2006: Lucille Clifton: Her Life and Letters by Mary Jane Lupton
2006: Understanding Rita Dove by Pat Righelato
2008: The Heritage Series of Black Poetry, 1962-1975 ed. by Lauri Ramey
2008: Avant-Garde Performance and the Limits of Criticism by Mike Sell
2009: Spectacular Blackness: The Cultural Politics of the Black Power Movement and the Search for a Black Aesthetic by Amy Abugo Ongiri
2009: Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop by Adam Bradley
2009: The Cultural Politics of Slam Poetry by Susan B. A. Somers-Willett

2010: Black Arts West: Culture and Struggle in Postwar Los Angeles by Daniel Widener
2011: The Black Arts Enterprise by Howard Rambsy II
2011: Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry by Evie Shockley
2011: The Other World of Richard Wright: Perspectives on His Haiku by John Zheng
2012: The Muse Is Music Jazz Poetry from the Harlem Renaissance to Spoken Word by Meta Duewa Jones
2012: Jazz Griots: Music as History in the 1960s African American Poem by Jean-Philippe Marcoux 
2012: The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness by Kevin Young
2013: The Afro-Modernist Epic and Literary History: Tolson, Hughes, and Baraka by Kathy Lou Schultz
2013: Amiri Baraka and Edward Dorn; The Collected Letters ed. by Claudia Moreno Pisano
2013: Visionary Women Writers of Chicago’s Black Arts Movement by Carmen L. Phelps
2013: Nikki Giovanni: A Literary Biography by Virginia C. Fowler
2013: Understanding Etheridge Knight by Michael S. Collins
2014: Black Music, Black Poetry edited by Gordon E. Thompson
2014: Freedom Time: The Poetics and Politics of Black Experimental Writing by Anthony Reed
2014: Rhyme's Challenge: Hip Hop, Poetry, and Contemporary Rhyming Culture by David Caplan
2014: Visible Man: The Life of Henry Dumas by Jeffrey Leak
2014: Richard Wright and Haiku by Yoshinobu Hakutani
2015: Imagine the Sound: Experimental African American Literature after Civil Rights by Carter Mathes
2016: The Magic of Juju: An Appreciation of the Black Arts Movement by Kalamu ya Salaam
2016: African American Haiku: Cultural Visions by John Zheng
2017: Black Post-Blackness: The Black Arts Movement and Twenty-First-Century Aesthetics by Margo Crawford
2017: Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination by Brent Hayes Edwards
2018: May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem by Imani Perry
2018: The Room Is on Fire: The History, Pedagogy, and Practice of Youth Spoken Word Poetry by Susan Weinstein
2018: Robert Hayden in Verse: New Histories of African American Poetry and the Black Arts Era by Derik Smith
2018: The Blues Muse: Race, Gender, and Musical Celebrity in American Poetry by Emily Rutter
2019: A History of African American Poetry by Lauri Ramey
2019: A Black Arts Poetry Machine: Amiri Baraka and the Umbra Poets by David Grundy
2019: Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era by Tiffany Austin, Sequoia Maner, Emily Ruth, and darlene a. scott
2020: Bad Men: Creative Touchstones of Black Writers by Howard Rambsy II
2020: Brick City Vanguard: Amiri Baraka, Black Music, Black Modernity by James Smethurst
2020: The Black Romantic Revolution: Abolitionist Poets at the End of Slavery (forthcoming) by Matt Sandler

Black Poetry: A Timeline, 2000 - 2019
Black Poetry: A Timeline, 1773 - 2017
A checklist of Black Arts-related scholarship, 1999 - 2018

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