There has been a resurgence of interest among contemporary poets in nineteenth-century American poetry. This panel brings together poets and critics to explore the generative power and long reach of nineteenth-century poems and the challenge contemporary poetry poses to literary critics to rethink the history of American poetry.
Presiding: Meredith L. McGill, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick
Speakers: Radiclani Clytus, Brown Univ.; Virginia Jackson, Univ. of California, Irvine; Amaud Jamaul Johnson, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison; Evie Shockley, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick; Brian Teare, Temple University
Each speaker has selected a 19th- or 21st-century poem around which to focus his or her comments. Links to these poems can be found below:
- Radiclani Clytus: Natasha Tretheway, “Enlightenment”
- Virginia Jackson: Terrance Hayes, “Antebellum House Party”
- Amaud Jamaul Johnson: Paul Laurence Dunbar, “Expectation”
- Evie Shockley: Paul Laurence Dunbar, “An Ante-Bellum Sermon”
- Brian Teare: William Cullen Bryant, “The Prairies”
A pdf of these poems can also be downloaded here.
A list of some contemporary poems and volumes of poems that turn back to address the unfinished business of the nineteenth century can be found on the Further Resources page. Please nominate poems and books we may have forgotten or may not know about in the comments on that page, or email me (Meredith McGill) at mlmcgill [at] rci.rutgers.edu; I’d be happy to make additions to this list!