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Selected Poems of Calvin C. Hernton (Wesleyan Poetry)

Selected Poems of Calvin C. Hernton (Wesleyan Poetry)

Current price: $24.95
Publication Date: August 1st, 2023
Publisher:
Wesleyan University Press
ISBN:
9780819500366
Pages:
256
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Description

The definitive guide to a major African American poet

This volume promises to be the definitive guide to Calvin C. Hernton's unparalleled poetic career, re-introducing readers to a major voice in American poetry. Hernton was a cofounder of the Umbra Poets Workshop; a participant in the Black Arts Movement, R. D. Laing's Kingsley Hall, and the Antiuniversity of London; and a teacher at Oberlin College who counted amongst his friends bell hooks, Toni Morrison, and Odetta. As a pioneer in the field of Black Studies, Hernton developed a theoretical and practical pedagogy with lasting impact on generations of students. He may be best known as an anti-sexist sociologist, following in the footsteps of W.E.B. Du Bois, but Hernton viewed himself, above all, as a poet. This volume includes a generous selection of Hernton's previously published poems, from classics like the often anthologized "The Distant Drum" to the visionary epic The Coming of Chronos to the House of Nightsong, reprinted in full for the first time since 1964, alongside uncollected and unpublished material from the Calvin C. Hernton papers at Ohio University, a new critical introduction, and detailed notes, chronology, and bibliography.

sample poem]

The Distant Drum

I am not a metaphor or symbol.
This you hear is not the wind in the trees.
Nor a cat being maimed in the street.
I am being maimed in the street
It is I who weep, laugh, feel pain or joy.
Speak this because I exist.
This is my voice
These words are my words, my mouth
Speaks them, my hand writes.
I am a poet.
It is my fist you hear beating
Against your ear.

About the Author

CALVIN COOLIDGE HERNTON (1932--2001) was an American sociologist, poet, and author, particularly renowned for his 1965 study Sex and Racism in America and for co-founding the Society of Umbra. ISHMAEL REED (Oakland, CA) is an American poet, novelist, essayist, songwriter, composer, playwright, editor, and publisher known for his satirical works challenging American political culture. His numerous achievements and awards include a MacArthur Fellowship and a lifetime achievement Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. DAVID GRUNDY (London, England) is the author of A Black Arts Poetry Machine: Amiri Baraka and the Umbra Poets. He is currently a British Academy Fellow at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, where he is working on two manuscripts, Survival Music: Free Jazz Then and Now, and Never by Itself Alone: Queer Poetry in Boston and San Francisco, 1943-Present, and a further edited collection on Umbra. LAURI SCHEYER (Glencoe, IL) is Xiaoxiang Scholars Program Distinguished Professor and founding Director of the British and American Poetry Research Center at Hunan Normal University (China). Her many prior books include A History of African American Poetry and Slave Songs and the Birth of African American Poetry.