Heroism in the New Black Poetry: Introductions & Interviews

D. H. Melhem, Author University Press of Kentucky $32 (279p) ISBN 978-0-8131-1709-6
If proof is needed that ``a second Black literary renaissance'' is at hand, as poet Melhem asserts, then this rich anthology of six distinguished black poets should convince. Those assembled--Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Jayne Cortez, Haki R. Madhubuti, Dudley Randall, Sonia Sanchez--are introduced via biographical material and critical discussion followed by disarmingly frank interviews; readers may wish for more interview and less introduction. For these writers, poetry is not only a craft but also an instrument for social change, in which the poet serves as leader and poetry as regenerative means. As Madhubuti puts it, ``I use writing as a weapon, offensively and defensively, to help raise the consciousness of myself and my people.'' Although all six agree on the need for black solidarity and achievement, their views on artistic choices and political methodology are startlingly diverse, ranging from Randall's pro-integration position to Madhubuti's devotion to Black Nationalist Separatism to Baraka's explicit Marxism. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-8131-0807-0
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