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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

innovative poetry


It is noteworthy that

Nielsen, Aldon Lynn and Lauri Ramey, eds. What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Writers in America.
Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2015.


Coval, Kevin, Quraysh Ali Lansana, and Nate Marshall,eds. The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop.  Chicago: Haymarket, 2015.

should be published just before a long, hot summer swings in.

It is noteworthy that

The cover art for one anthology comes from Untitled…Negro Mythos Series by Hebru Brantley; the cover art for the other, from Anna Everett’s early 1970s mural on a “wall of Lafayette High School in Buffalo, New York.”

It is noteworthy that

These anthologies may relegate

Rowell, Charles Henry, ed. Angle of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. New York: W. W. Norton, 2013.

to a status of discrepant engagement that is yearning for …….oh, well, read Amiri Baraka’s review “A Post-Racial Anthology?” at

It is noteworthy that

These anthologies send us on a mission of tackling difficult w(hole)s, namely, making comparisons with

Powell, Kevin and Ras Baraka,eds. In the Tradition: An Anthology of Young Black Writers. New York: Harlem River Press, 1992.


Medina, Tony, Samiya A. Bashir, and Quraysh Ali Lansana, eds. Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art. Chicago: Third World Press, 2002.

It is noteworthy that

Douglas Kearney has work on pages 86-92 of What I Say and pages 117-126 of The BreakBeat Poets; if you want to read the innovative poetry of Kalamu ya Salaam, Asili Ya Nadhiri, or Lenard D. Moore, turn to

Jahannes, Ja A., ed. Black Gold: An Anthology of Black Poetry. Savannah: Turner Mayfield Publishing, 2014.

It is noteworthy that

All of these anthologies want me to answer a singular (c.i.a.n.s.a.) question: WHAT CRITERIA MUST A POEM SATISFY TO BE CALLED INNOVATIVE?

It is noteworthy that

I shall eventually provide an answer.

Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

June 10, 2015

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