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D.H. Melhem's clear introductions and frank interviews provide insight into the contemporary social and political consciousness of six acclaimed poets: Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Jayne Cortez, Haki R. Madhubuti, Dudley Randall, and Sonia Sanchez. Since the 1960s, the poet hero has characterized a significant segment of Black American poetry. The six poets interviewed here have participated in and shaped the vanguard of this movement. Their poetry reflects the critical alternatives of African American life—separatism and integration, feminism and sexual identity, religion and spirituality, humanism and Marxism, nationalism and internationalism. They unite in their commitment to Black solidarity and advancement.
The author of three books of poetry, D. H. Melhem is also noted for her study Gwendolyn Brooks: Poetry and the Heroic Voice.
"An important book. It deserves wide attention."—Henry Louis Gates Jr.
"If proof is needed that a 'second Black literary renaissance' is at hand, as poet Melhem asserts, then this rich anthology of six distinguished black poets should convince."—Publishers Weekly
"[Melhem] is herself a 'superstar' in understanding and interpreting modern Black American Poetry. . . . An excellent introduction to these particular poets."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"The primary biographies and clearly written essays serve as fine introductions to each of the authors. . . . The book is especially valuable for the sections on Cortez, Madhubuti, and Sanchez, writers who have not yet received the critical attention their work warrants."—Choice
"A useful and revealing collection of introductions and interviews. . . . Melhem's writing cogently analyzes the significant features of her subjects' artistic development and skillfully conveys the strong features of their personalities."—Confrontation
The University Press of Kentucky
Place of Publication
African Americans, African American poets, American poetry, African American authors
Melhem, D. H., "Heroism in the New Black Poetry: Introductions and Interviews" (1991). Creative Writing. 6.