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Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (2009)

by Camille T. Dungy (Editor)

Other authors: Elizabeth Alexander (Contributor), Kwame Alexander (Contributor), Alvin Aubert (Contributor), Gerald Barrax (Contributor), Tara Betts (Contributor)88 more, Remica L. Bingham (Contributor), Arna Bontemps (Contributor), Shane Book (Contributor), Gwendolyn Brooks (Contributor), Sterling Brown (Contributor), Cyrus Cassells (Contributor), Lucille Clifton (Contributor), Wanda Coleman (Contributor), Toi Derricotte (Contributor), Melvin Dixon (Contributor), Rita Dove (Contributor), Paul Laurence Dunbar (Contributor), Alice Dunbar-Nelson (Contributor), Camille T. Dungy (Contributor), Cornelius Eady (Contributor), Thomas Sayers Ellis (Contributor), James A. Emanuel (Contributor), Jessie Redmon Fauset (Contributor), Joanne V. Gabbin (Contributor), Ross Gay (Contributor), Nikki Giovanni (Contributor), C. S. Giscombe (Contributor), Rachel Eliza Griffiths (Contributor), Kendra Hamilton (Contributor), Myronn Hardy (Contributor), Michael S. Harper (Contributor), Janice N. Harrington (Contributor), Robert Hayden (Contributor), Terrance Hayes (Contributor), Sean Hill (Contributor), George Moses Horton (Contributor), Ravi Howard (Contributor), Langston Hughes (Contributor), Major Jackson (Contributor), Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (Contributor), Amaud Jamaul Johnson (Contributor), Helene Johnson (Contributor), James Weldon Johnson (Contributor), Patricia Spears Jones (Contributor), June Jordan (Contributor), Douglas Kearney (Contributor), Ruth Ellen Kocher (Contributor), Yusef Komunyakaa (Contributor), Audre Lorde (Contributor), Clarence Major (Contributor), Devorah Major (Contributor), Shara McCallum (Contributor), George Marion McClellan (Contributor), Claude McKay (Contributor), Mark McMorris (Contributor), E. Ethelbert Miller (Contributor), Kamilah Aisha Moon (Contributor), Indigo Moor (Contributor), Lenard D. Moore (Contributor), Thylias Moss (Contributor), Harryette Mullen (Contributor), Marilyn Nelson (Contributor), Gregory Pardlo (Contributor), Cynthia Parker-Ohene (Contributor), G. E. Patterson (Contributor), Carl Phillips (Contributor), Stephanie Pruitt (Contributor), Claudia Rankine (Contributor), Ishmael Reed (Contributor), Ed Roberson (Contributor), Mona Lisa Saloy (Contributor), Tim Seibles (Contributor), Reginald Shepherd (Contributor), Evie Shockley (Contributor), Patricia Smith (Contributor), Anne Spencer (Contributor), Amber Flora Thomas (Contributor), Melvin B. Tolson (Contributor), Jean Toomer (Contributor), Askia M. Touré (Contributor), Natasha Trethewey (Contributor), Alice Walker (Contributor), Frank X Walker (Contributor), Margaret Walker (Contributor), Wendy S. Walters (Contributor), Anthony Walton (Contributor), Afaa Michael Weaver (Contributor), Phillis Wheatley (Contributor), Albery Whitman (Contributor), Sherley Anne Williams (Contributor), Richard Wright (Contributor), Toni Wynn (Contributor), Al Young (Contributor)

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This book is the first anthology to focus on nature writing by African American poets, a genre that until now has not commonly been counted as one in which African American poets have participated. Black poets have a long tradition of incorporating treatments of the natural world into their work, but it is often read as political, historical, or protest poetry, anything but nature poetry. This is particularly true when the definition of what constitutes nature writing is limited to work about the pastoral or the wild. The author has selected 180 poems from 93 poets that provide unique perspectives on American social and literary history to broaden our concept of nature poetry and African American poetics. This collection features major writers such as Phillis Wheatley, Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sterling Brown, Robert Hayden, Wanda Coleman, Natasha Trethewey, and Melvin B. Tolson as well as newer talents such as Douglas Kearney, Major Jackson, and Janice Harrington. Included are poets writing out of slavery, Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century African American poetic movements. It also brings to the fore a neglected and vital means of considering poetry by African Americans and nature-related poetry as a whole.… (more)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dungy, Camille T.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexander, ElizabethContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexander, KwameContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aubert, AlvinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barrax, GeraldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Betts, TaraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bingham, Remica L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bontemps, ArnaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Book, ShaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brooks, GwendolynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, SterlingContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cassells, CyrusContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clifton, LucilleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coleman, WandaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Derricotte, ToiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dixon, MelvinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dove, RitaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dunbar, Paul LaurenceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dunbar-Nelson, AliceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dungy, Camille T.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eady, CorneliusContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ellis, Thomas SayersContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Emanuel, James A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fauset, Jessie RedmonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gabbin, Joanne V.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gay, RossContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Giovanni, NikkiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Giscombe, C. S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Griffiths, Rachel ElizaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hamilton, KendraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hardy, MyronnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harper, Michael S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harrington, Janice N.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hayden, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hayes, TerranceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hill, SeanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Horton, George MosesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Howard, RaviContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hughes, LangstonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jackson, MajorContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jeffers, Honorée FanonneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, Amaud JamaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, HeleneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, James WeldonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, Patricia SpearsContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jordan, JuneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kearney, DouglasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kocher, Ruth EllenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Komunyakaa, YusefContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lorde, AudreContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Major, ClarenceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Major, DevorahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McCallum, SharaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McClellan, George MarionContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McKay, ClaudeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McMorris, MarkContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miller, E. EthelbertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moon, Kamilah AishaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moor, IndigoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, Lenard D.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moss, ThyliasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mullen, HarryetteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nelson, MarilynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pardlo, GregoryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parker-Ohene, CynthiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Patterson, G. E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Phillips, CarlContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pruitt, StephanieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rankine, ClaudiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reed, IshmaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roberson, EdContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Saloy, Mona LisaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Seibles, TimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shepherd, ReginaldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shockley, EvieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, PatriciaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Spencer, AnneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thomas, Amber FloraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tolson, Melvin B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Toomer, JeanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Touré, Askia M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Trethewey, NatashaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Walker, AliceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Walker, Frank XContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Walker, MargaretContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Walters, Wendy S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Walton, AnthonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Weaver, Afaa MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wheatley, PhillisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whitman, AlberyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, Sherley AnneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wright, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wynn, ToniContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Young, AlContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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surely i am able to write poems / celebrating grass and how the blue / in the sky can flow green or red / and the waters lean against the / chesapeake shore like a familiar / poems about nature and landscape / surely     but whenever i begin / "the  trees wave their knotted branches / and..."     why / is there under that poem always / an other poem? -- Lucille Clifton
Dedication
For Sunshine, And in memory of Reginald Shepherd/ and the many more we miss. / Your poems bloom -- beautiful! -- / within and beyond the margins of this book.
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This book is the first anthology to focus on nature writing by African American poets, a genre that until now has not commonly been counted as one in which African American poets have participated. Black poets have a long tradition of incorporating treatments of the natural world into their work, but it is often read as political, historical, or protest poetry, anything but nature poetry. This is particularly true when the definition of what constitutes nature writing is limited to work about the pastoral or the wild. The author has selected 180 poems from 93 poets that provide unique perspectives on American social and literary history to broaden our concept of nature poetry and African American poetics. This collection features major writers such as Phillis Wheatley, Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sterling Brown, Robert Hayden, Wanda Coleman, Natasha Trethewey, and Melvin B. Tolson as well as newer talents such as Douglas Kearney, Major Jackson, and Janice Harrington. Included are poets writing out of slavery, Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century African American poetic movements. It also brings to the fore a neglected and vital means of considering poetry by African Americans and nature-related poetry as a whole.

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