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Few poets have as much to tell us about the intricate relationship between the African American past and present as Jay Wright. His poems weave a rich fabric of personal history using diverse materials drawn from African, Native American, and European sources. Scholarly, historical, intuitive, and emotional, his work explores territories in which rituals of psychological and spiritual individuation find a new synthesis in the construction of cultural values. Never an ideologue but always a poet of vision, his imagination shows us a way to rejoice and strengthen ourselves in our common humanity. Here, together for the first time, are Wright's previously published collections -- The Homecoming Singer (1971), Soothsayers and Omens (1976), Explications/Interpretations (1984), Dimensions of History (1976), The Double Invention of Komo (1980), Elaine's Book (1988), and Boleros (1991) -- along with the new poems of Transformations (1997). By presenting Wright's work as a whole, this collection reveals the powerful consistency of his theme -- a spiritual or intellectual quest for personal development -- as each book builds solidly upon the previous one. Wright examines history from a multicultural perspective, attempting to conquer a sense of exclusion -- from society and his own cultural identity -- and find solace and accord by linking American society to African traditions. He believes that a poem must articulate the vital rhythms of the culture it depicts and is dedicated to a pursuit of poetic forms that embody the cadence of African American culture.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780807126301
ISBN-10: 0807126306
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 35mm)
Pages: 552
Imprint: Louisiana State University Press
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Publish Date: 1-Oct-2000
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Jay Wright

Poet and playwright Jay Wright has received numerous awards, including the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the International Poetry Forum's Charity Randall Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award. A MacArthur Fellow and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Wright lives in Vermont.

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