Reading Race in American Poetry

Aldon L. Nielsen (Editor)
Situated at the intersection of poetry, race, and politics, this collection exposes the many and various ways race informs American poetry. Contributors examine the historical influence of race on critical reception and the evolution of racial definitions and archetypes. They take a fresh look at influential and overlooked figures who have shaped poetic dialogue about race, such as William S. Braithwaite, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Duncan, James Weldon Johnson, Bob Kaufman, Claude McKay, Harriet Monroe, Melvin B. Tolson, and Jay Wright. They consider the pressures of race on poetic form and the racialized cultural work of modernist poets such as Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams. They also address questions of identity and national belonging for black Americans, white use of African and African-American materials, the conspicuous absence of innovative or experimental black poets from anthologies supporting multicultural curricula, and other topics of current and historical interest.

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