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Gwendolyn Brooks at 100 June 22, 2017: But I say it’s fine. Honest, I do. And I’d like to be a bad woman too, And wear the stockings of night black lace. And strut down the street with paint on my face. —“song in the front [...] by

Chasing Ms. Brooks June 20, 2017: My initial encounter with Ms. Brooks occurred year two of an eight-year bid in a medium/max facility at Roxbury Correctional Center, Housing Unit III, C-Tier, Cell 17 in Hagerstown, Maryland, by way [...] by

‘It’s Got a Backbeat, You Can’t Lose It’: The Rhythm of ‘We Real Cool’ June 15, 2017: Like you, I first met Ms. Brooks outside the famous Golden Shovel.  In the spring of 2001, “The Pool Players” was lesson number one in Fran Quinn’s undergraduate poetry workshop at [...] by

An Exceeding Sun: Michael Anania on Gwendolyn Brooks June 13, 2017: When Quraysh Ali Lansana first invited me to blog about Gwendolyn Brooks, I was elated to be allowed this opportunity to write about such an influential American poet and Chicago icon. However, a few [...] by

Sundays in Satin: The Eloquence of Gwendolyn Brooks June 8, 2017: “Save some of those for me, Michael, before you gobble them all up.” I was having afternoon tea with Ms. Gwendolyn Brooks, the grand lady of African American poetry. It was a full British tea, [...] by

Against Miracles June 6, 2017: “It was not natural.  And she was the first.”  With these words, June Jordan opens her incisive and deeply moving essay on poet Phillis Wheatley, whose emergence from the hold of the slaveship [...] by

Poems That Listen: A Celebration of Gwendolyn Brooks’s Centennial June 1, 2017: This is the first of a series of posts honoring Gwendolyn Brooks during the month of her 100th birthday. I am honored to have curated the outstanding collection of poets who will bring insight on her [...] by

Larry Eigner & The Maximus Poems May 22, 2017: As I mentioned in a previous post, among Eigner’s research materials I found his annotated copy of the first installment of Jargon Press’s The Maximus Poems. Of Eigner’s most [...] by

A Poet Without Awards May 15, 2017: As I have written before, I began Larry Eigner’s biography out of passion, hope, and my good looks. For once I was beginning to feel part of something, which is a particularly difficult thing [...] by

Harriet the Spy, Or How I Put My Yenta-Self to Good Use May 8, 2017: —for Mo Research is a mysterious thing. When it is working, the research finds the researcher. This does not mean being passive; but it can contain an element of passivity, letting things arrive. A [...] by