Black Poetry Day
Summary:The Chicago Race Riot of 1919, the most intense of the riots that comprised the "Red Summer" of violence across the nation’s cities, is an event that has shaped the last century but is widely unknown. In 1919, award-winning poet Eve L. Ewing explores the story of this event–which lasted eight days and resulted in thirty-eight deaths and almost 500 injuries–through poems recounting the stories of everyday people trying to survive and thrive in the city. Ewing uses speculative and Afrofuturist lenses to recast history, and illuminates the thin line between the past and the present.
Summary:"Jericho Brown’s daring new book The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. Brown;s poetic concerns are both broad and intimate, and at their very core a distillation of the incredibly human: What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom truly lie? Brown makes mythical pastorals to question the terrors to which weve become accustomed, and to celebrate how we survive. Poems of fatherhood, legacy, blackness, queerness, worship, and trauma are propelled into stunning clarity by Brown’s mastery, and his invention of the duplex–a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues–testament to his formal skill. The Tradition is a cutting and necessary collection, relentless in its quest for survival while revelling in a celebration of contradiction." — Goodreads.com
S O S : Poems 1961-2013
Summary:Fusing the personal and the political in high-voltage verse, Amiri Baraka–"whose long illumination of the black experience in America was called incandescent in some quarters and incendiary in others" (New York Times)–was one of the preeminent literary innovators of the past century. Selected by Paul Vangelisti, this volume comprises the fullest spectrum of Baraka’s rousing, revolutionary poems, from his first collection to previously unpublished pieces composed during his final years.
Don’t call us dead : poems
Summary:A collection of works that opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police—a place where suspicion, violence and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love and longevity they deserved here on earth.
The collected poems of Langston Hughes
Summary:Here, for the first time, is a complete collection of Langston Hughes’s poetry – 860 poems that sound the heartbeat of black life in America during five turbulent decades, from the 1920s through the 1960s. The editors, Arnold Rampersad and David Roessel, have aimed to recover all of the poems that Hughes published in his lifetime – in newspapers, magazines, and literary journals, and in his books of verse. They present the poems in the general order in which Hughes wrote them, and also provide illuminating notes and a chronology of the poet’s life. Arnold Rampersad, the author of the esteemed two-volume biography of Langston Hughes, has written a perceptive and moving introduction that throws light on Langston Hughes’s distinctive voice as a poet and the world in which he lived.
Citizen : an American lyric
Summary:"Claudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV–everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named ‘post-race’ society"–From publisher’s description.
Library of small catastrophes
Summary:"Library of Small Catastrophes, Alison Rollins’ ambitious debut collection, interrogates the body and nation as storehouses of countless tragedies. Drawing from Jorge Luis Borges’ fascination with the library, Rollins uses the concept of the archive to offer a lyric history of the ways in which we process loss. “Memory is about the future, not the past,” she writes, and rather than shying away from the anger, anxiety, and mourning of her narrators, Rollins’ poetry seeks to challenge the status quo, engaging in a diverse, boundary-defying dialogue with an ever-present reminder of the ways race, sexuality, spirituality, violence, and American culture collide."–Amazon.com.
Wade in the water : poems
Summary:A Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, using her signature voice–inquisitive, lyrical and wry–mulls over what it means to be a citizen, a mother and an artist in a culture arbitrated by wealth, men and violence, boldly tying America’s modern moment both to our nation’s fraught founding history and to a sense of the spirit, the everlasting.
A good cry : what we learn from tears and laughter
Summary:"Poet, firebrand, mother, radical, healer, and sage, Nikki Giovanni has always been celebrated for her inspired and courageous voice. For decades, she has spoken out on the sensitive issues — race and gender, violence and inequality — that touch our national consciousness. As energetic and insightful as ever, Nikki Giovanni now offers us an intimate and affecting look at her personal history and the hidden corners of her own heart. In A Good Cry, she takes us into her confidence, describing the joy and peril of aging and recalling the violence that permeated her parents’ marriage and her childhood. She pays homage to the people who have given her life meaning and delight: her grandparents, who took her in and saved her life; the poets and thinkers who have influenced her; and the students who have surrounded her. Giovanni also celebrates her good friend, Maya Angelou, and the many years of friendship, poetry, and kitchen-table laughter they shared before Angelou’s death in 2014. An essential work for our times and a moving chronicle of an artist’s life. A Good Cry is another classic from the prolific and perennially relevant Nikki Giovanni."
White egrets : poems
Summary:In this work, the poet treats the characteristic subjects of his career, the Caribbean’s complex colonial legacy, his love of the Western literary tradition, the wisdom that comes through the passing of time, the always strange joys of new love, and the sometimes terrifying beauty of the natural world, with an intensity and drive that recall his greatest work. Through the mesmerizing repetition of theme and imagery, he creates an almost surflike cadence, broadening the possibilities of rhyme and meter, poetic form and language. This work is a moving new collection from one of the most important poets of the twentieth century, a celebration of the life and language of the West Indies. It is also a triumphant paean to beauty, love, art, and, perhaps most surprisingly, getting older.