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Other titles in the Poetry for Young People series:
African American Poetry (Poetry for Young People)by Arnold Rampersad
Synopses & Reviews
The newest addition to the acclaimed Poetry for Young People series shines a light on the power and beauty of African-American verse. Co-editors Arnold Rampersad and Marcellus Blountand#8212;both towering figures in literary criticismand#8212;have put together an impressive anthology that will open up a world of wonderful word images for children. The classic poems come from some of the most influential and celebrated African-American writers in history, including Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Countee Cullen, Lucille Clifton, and James Baldwin.
Helpful and generous annotations, a lively introduction, and beautiful illustrations by Karen Barbour make this the ideal book to introduce young readers to the marvels of poetry.
"This addition to the Poetry for Young People series compiles poems by African-American writers, beginning with Phillis Wheatley in the 18th century and continuing through Harlem Renaissance writers and poets still writing today. Barbour combines collage, watercolor, and ink in her stylized images, which communicate gracefully with the poems. For Paul Laurence Dunbar's 'We Wear the Mask,' Barbour offers a solemn seated figure holding a smiling mask at knee level. She creates a celestial canvas of silver starbursts for James Weldon Johnson's 'The Creation,' and for Nikki Giovanni's blissful 'Winter Poem,' she shows the graceful, oblong face of a woman surrounded by snowflakes. Rampersad and Blount make the material accessible to readers by including vocabulary definitions, historical context, and thoughtful interpretations. Ages 8 — up." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Arnold Rampersad is the author of the widely acclaimed two-volume biography The Life of Langston Hughes as well as Days of Grace: A Memoir, co-authored with Arthur Ashe, and Jackie Robinson: A Biography. He has also edited several books, among them The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (with David Roessel). He is professor of English and Senior Associate Dean at Stanford University, an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society, and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship.
Marcellus Blount lives in New York City and is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He has published essays in PMLA, Callaloo, American Literary History, and Southern Review. He co-edited Representing Black Men with George Cunningham. His first study was entitled "In a Broken Tongue: Rediscovering African-American Poetry,"and#160; and his current project is entitled Listening for My Name: African-American Men and the Politics of Friendship.
Karen Barbour has created illustrations for the New York Times and other magazines and newspapers. She has also written and illustrated several children's books, including Mr. Williams, which School Library Journal praised in a starred review: and#8220;The beauty of this book comes from the synergy of the spare narrative and rich artwork. The contrast makes each one more compelling; together they are powerful. [An] exquisite piece of oral history.and#8221; Karen lives in Inverness, CA. See more of her work at karenbarbour.com.
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