In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Stone Center Library recommends The 100* Best African American Poems (*but I cheated), edited by the venerable Nikki Giovanni.
In this anthology, “Award-winning poet and writer Nikki Giovanni takes on the impossible task of selecting the 100 best African American works from classic and contemporary poets. Out of necessity, Giovanni admits she cheats a little, selecting a larger, less round number. The result is this startlingly vibrant collection that spans from historic to modern, from structured to freeform, and reflects the rich roots and visionary future of African American verse. These magnetic poems are an exciting mix of most-loved classics and daring new writing. From Gwendolyn Brooks and Langston Hughes to Tupac Shakur, Natasha Trethewey, and many others, the voice of a culture comes through in this collection, one that is as talented, diverse, and varied as its people. ” (Source: Syndetic Solutions, Inc.)
Even better, this anthology includes a CD recording of selected poems read aloud, in many cases by the poets themselves!
Interested in learning more? The Stone Center Library also has several of Nikki Giovanni’s works available here, including:
- Bicycles: Love Poems (2009)
- Acolytes (2007)
- The Collected Poetry of Nikki Giovanni, 1968-1998 (2003)
- Love Poems (1997)