Invisible Poets: Afro-Americans of the Nineteenth Century

$29.95$79.95

Available on backorder

Sherman’s Invisible Poets pioneered in the rediscovery of nineteenth-century Afro-American literature. Black poets of that century not only were invisible: they were also forced to publish ‘mute’ texts, texts doomed not to be read because of the pervasive racism in American society. Sherman’s work of literary resurrection is a signal achievement, combining deft historical detective work with a subtle critical sensibility.

— Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard

Invisible Poets: Afro-Americans of the Nineteenth Century brings into view over 130 other Black men and women who published poetry in America during the century between Phillis Wheatley and Paul Laurence Dunbar. In spite of their impressive achievements, these poets’ works have been out of print, their few biographies incomplete and unreliable, and criticism of their poetry rare and often biased. The author, Joan R. Sherman, was ahead of her time in seeking “to strip myth and misinformation from their lives and to offer the most accurate biographies and bibliographies obtainable after a century of neglect.” In the only comprehensive and realistic appraisal of their contributions to American literature, Sherman intensively studies twenty-six representative poets of the nineteenth century, analyzing their poetry and providing the first significant profiles of their extraordinary life experiences. About three dozen other poets also receive attention. Their work, which ranges from “militant, race-proud jeremiads to sentimental nature and love lyrics,” faithfully conforms to nineteenth-century poetic standards. At the same time, it reflects the changing American political and cultural scene and provides an invaluable record of over a hundred years of Black experience as articulated by sensitive and talented American writers.

SKU: INVISIBLEPOETS Categories: , Tag:

Description

Invisible Poets: Afro-Americans of the Nineteenth Century brings into view over 130 other Black men and women who published poetry in America during the century between Phillis Wheatley and Paul Laurence Dunbar. In spite of their impressive achievements, these poets’ works have been out of print, their few biographies incomplete and unreliable, and criticism of their poetry rare and often biased. The author, Joan R. Sherman, was ahead of her time in seeking “to strip myth and misinformation from their lives and to offer the most accurate biographies and bibliographies obtainable after a century of neglect.” In the only comprehensive and realistic appraisal of their contributions to American literature, Sherman intensively studies twenty-six representative poets of the nineteenth century, analyzing their poetry and providing the first significant profiles of their extraordinary life experiences. About three dozen other poets also receive attention. Their work, which ranges from “militant, race-proud jeremiads to sentimental nature and love lyrics,” faithfully conforms to nineteenth-century poetic standards. At the same time, it reflects the changing American political and cultural scene and provides an invaluable record of over a hundred years of Black experience as articulated by sensitive and talented American writers.

America it is to thee
Thou boasted land of liberty
It is to thee I raise my song
Thou land of blood, and crime, and wrong.

Americans chose largely to ignore this poem and its author, James Monroe Whitfield, along with over 130 other Black men and women who published poetry in America during the century between Phillis Wheatley and Paul Laurence Dunbar. In spite of the impressive achievements of these writers, their poems are out of print, their few biographies are incomplete and unreliable, and criticism of their poetry is rare and often biased.

Joan R. Sherman seeks to render these Afro-Americans and their poetry visible, “to strip myth and misinformation from their lives and to offer the most accurate biographies and bibliographies obtainable after a century of neglect.” In Invisible Poets, the only comprehensive and realistic appraisal of their contributions to American literature, Sherman intensively studies twenty-six representative poets of the nineteenth century, analyzing their poetry and providing the first significant profiles of their extraordinary life experiences. About three dozen other poets also receive brief attention.

Their work, which ranges from “militant, race-proud jeremiads to sentimental nature and love lyrics,” faithfully conforms to nineteenth-century poetic standards. At the same time, it reflects the changing American political and cultural scene, and provides an invaluable record of over a hundred years of Black experience as articulated by some of the most sensitive and talented of that era, a diverse mix that includes those who achieved some renown as well as former slaves, educators, and ministers.

JOAN R. SHERMAN (1930-2014) was an associate professor of English at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and after her retirement worked as a volunteer at the Berg Collection in New York.

close

GET NEWS ABOUT NEW BOOKS & SPECIAL OFFERS

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR OCCASIONAL EMAILS

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Additional information

Format

, ,

Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.

You may also like…

Title

Go to Top