Recent & Relevant
Call & Response: Poems by Forrest Hamer (Alice James Books. 1995. $9.95) - This is the first book from a psychologist whose poems have appeared in journals and won awards. He gives us raw, vibrant glimpses into the soul of a black Southern man concerned with family, culture and the way we both shape and are shaped by American society.
Ebony Angels: A Collection of African-American Poetry and Prose edited by Faith Jaycox (Crown. 1996. $10) - Works by literary figures Phillis Wheatley, Maya Angelou, Sterling Brown, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen) are contained within, and poems by social and political figures (Martin Luther King Jr., Bessie Smith) are included as well. All are represented here in an angelic vein.
Embouchure: Poems on Jazz and other Musics by Akua Lezli Hope (ArtFarm Press. 1995. $7.95) - Hope, a founding member of the Black Writers Union and the New Renaissance Writers Guild in New York City, bears witness to African-American life, culture and expression in the late 20th century. She says that her joyous poems give specific attention to the black and female experience in America, but many of them are universal.
The Garden Thrives: Twentieth-Century African-American Poetry edited by Clarence Major (HarperPerennial. 1996.$17) - This impressive and comprehensive anthology starts at the turn of the century, passes through the Harlem Renaissance, through the political '60s and '70s, and reaches into contemporary society.
In Search of Color Everywhere: A Collection of African-American Poetry edited by E. Ethelbert Miller (Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 1996. $17.95) - Not, in alphabetical or chronological order, this collection explores themes: freedom, celebration, love, family, healing and rituals. One hundred twenty poets, including Yusef Komunyakaa, Maya Angelou, Ntozake Shange, Langston Hughes, Alice Walker, Haki Madhubuti, Marilyn Nelson Waniek and Rita Dove, preserve the cultural memory and glorious history of a people.
On a Mission: Selected Poems and a Hisery of the Last Poets by Abiodun Oyewole and Umar Bin Hassan with Kim Green (Owl Books. 1996. $12.95) - The Last Poets were born on May 19, 1968, at a birthday celebration for Malcolm X. They advocate revolution through economic empowerment, self-love, personal growth and spiritual kinship, and they do so with lyrics that are shocking, graceful, raw and of course poetic. …