AFRICAN-AMERICAN POETRY, with its wellsprings in jazz and
vernacular culture and its inescapable political dimension, stands
among the most important bodies of literary work of the twentieth
century. This collection of essays and six lively interviews with
practicing poets, arising from the now-famous Furious Flower
Conference of 1994, provides a mosaic of the major critical and
aesthetic issues emerging from the poetry and its literary
African-American poets writing in the last fifty years have
raised their voices in the struggle against racism, sexism,
political and economic exploitation, violence, and injustice.
Gwendolyn Brooks, Rita Dove, Haki Madhubuti, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri
Baraka (aka LeRoi Jones), Joyce Ann Joyce, Sherley Anne Williams,
Michael S. Harper, Margaret Walker and many others have created
lyrical beauty in their exploration of public and private concerns.
Unlike any previous scholarship, The Furious Flowering of African
American Poetry draws readers into a dialogue with leading poets
and critics of African-American literature and culture. The
interviews and critical essays address the adequacy and
appropriateness of theoretical models for assessing the work of
black poets, the construction of a literary framework in which to
place the poets and their work, and the art and purpose of the
Furious Flowering offers students, scholars, readers, and
writers of African-American poetry a chance to take part in an
unprecedented discussion of a complex literary culture.
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