Celebrating 75 Years

Wayne State University Press

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Pilgrim Journey

Naomi Long Madgett

Autobiography, Detroit

Hardback
Published: May 2006
ISBN: 9780916418977
Pages: 492 Size: 6x9
Review

In Pilgrim Journey, Naomi Long Madgett shares honest reflections as she retraces encounters with love, difficult marriages, racial injustice, class conflict within the black community, the joys of motherhood, a near fatal automobile accident, and the curious satisfaction of being a poet.

— Melba Joyce Boyd

In Pilgrim Journey, award-winning poet Naomi Long Madgett describes the people and events that influenced her life and work. Written with a wealth of detail and personal reflection and illustrated with fifty photographs, this book will be insightful, rewarding, and inspirational for readers.

The daughter of a Baptist pastor, Madgett was born in Virginia and moved with her family to East Orange, New Jersey as a toddler. In detailing her childhood, Madgett offers rich stories of both the hardships and joys of growing up during the Great Depression. She also introduces readers to her family and the community of outstanding African Americans around them. In particular, Madgett recalls the people who encouraged her writing as a child and describes publishing her first collection of poetry at the age of seventeen. As a young woman, Madgett continued to travel a unique path. Moving from New Jersey to an all-black high school in St. Louis, Missouri, she also spent time in New Rochelle, New York, and finally settled in Detroit, Michigan, where she arrived as a young bride. Along the way, Madgett shares reflections on her personal life, her career, her poetry, as well as on her changing surroundings, allowing readers to experience her fascinating journey firsthand.

Pilgrim Journey presents Madgett’s successes and her disappointments, along with her personal beliefs and values. The book also demonstrates the positive impact she has had on others through poetry, teaching, and editing and publishing books by other African American poets. Madgett’s fans and anyone interested in studying the life of an extraordinary poet will enjoy this honest autobiography.

Published by: Lotus Press

Naomi Long Madgett is the author of nine collections of poetry and editor of two poetry anthologies. Since 2001 she has been poet laureate of the city of Detroit. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and more than 180 anthologies and textbooks. She is also publisher and editor of Lotus Press, Inc. and emeritus professor of English at Eastern Michigan University.

In Pilgrim Journey, Naomi Long Madgett shares honest reflections as she retraces encounters with love, difficult marriages, racial injustice, class conflict within the black community, the joys of motherhood, a near fatal automobile accident, and the curious satisfaction of being a poet."

– Melba Joyce Boyd, author of Wrestling with the Muse and distinguished professor of Africana studies at Wayne State University