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Letters to America

Contemporary American Poetry on Race

edited by Jim Daniels

Poetry, Race and Ethnicity

Published: December 1995
ISBN: 9780814325421
Pages: 232 Size: 6 x 9

Letters to America features the work of poets who have had the courage to write about race with honesty and passion. Speakign from the experience of Black, Native American, Asian, Arabic, Indian, Hispanic, and white culture, their diverse voices unite in a dialogue of poems which acknowledge and celebrate our differences while exploring America’s shameful history of racial intolerance. The poets in this anthology include Gwendolyn Brooks, Charles Bukowski, Joy Harjo, Langstong Hughes, Sharon Olds, James Wright, Etheridge Knight, Gary Soto, Garrett Kaoru Hongo, Audre Lorde, David Ignatwo, and others.

Jim Daniels is a professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the author of M-80, Punching Out, and Places/Everyone.

Contributors Include:
Francisco Alarcón, Fareedah Allah, Carroll Arnett/Gogisgi, Russell Atkins, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Gwendolyn Brooks, Charles Bukowski, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Daryl Ngee Chinn, Lucille Clifton, Peter Blue Cloud, Sam Cornish, Jayne Cortez, Jim Daniels, Toi Derricotte, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Jimmie Durham, Cornelius Eady, Alfred Encarnacion, Martin Espada, Calvin Forbes, Charles Fort, Christopher Gilbert, Diane Glancy, Joy Harjo, Michael S. Harper, Linda Hogan, Garrett Kaoru Hongo, Langston Hughes, T R. Hummer, David Ignatow, June Jordan, Lawrence Joseph, Lonny Kaneko, Richard Katrovas, Carolyn Kizer, Etheridge Knight, Yusef Komunyakaa, Audre Lorde, Naomi Long Madgett, Colleen J. McElroy, Thylias Moss, David Mura, Sharon Olds, Simon Ortiz, Dudley Randall, David Ray, John Repp, Leo Romero, Kate Rushin, Ira Sadoff, Betsy Sholl, Gary Soto, Ernesto Trejo, Gail Tremblay, Quincy Troupe, Amy Uyematsu, Ellen Bryant Voigt, Marilyn Nelson Waniek, Tom Wayman, Michael S. Weaver, C K. Williams, Robert Winner, Nellie Wong, Baron Wormser, James Wright, Al Young, Kevin Young, Al Zolynas

Imagine that all the poets in this book are speaking to each other in a single room-an auditorium or classroom-having the discussion about race our country finds it so hard to have. Jim Daniels takes chances with his own poetry, and he takes chances with this anthology, fine chances, so page through, stay awhile, listen to all these vibrant American voices.

– Mike Rose, University of California, Los Angeles

This is a wonderful book. . . for looking at ourselves as a country beginning a new century. This is the real deal: the kitchen table conversation. These poems need to be read. I can't think of a book more timely.

– Kenneth McClane, Cornell University