Lauri Scheyer - "A History of African American Poetry" - Tyrone Williams

Tuesday, February 15, 2022 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Lauri Scheyer

Lauri Scheyer discusses A History of African American Poetry. She will be joined in conversation by Tyrone Williams.
Virtual Event
About the book: African American poetry is as old as America itself, yet this touchstone of American identity is often overlooked. In this critical history of African American poetry, from its origins in the transatlantic slave trade, to present day hip-hop, Lauri Scheyer traces African American poetry from slave songs to today's award-winning poets. Covering a wide range of styles and forms, canonical figures like Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784) and Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) are brought side by side with lesser known poets who explored diverse paths of bold originality. Calling for a revised and expanded canon, Scheyer shows how some poems were suppressed while others were lauded, while also examining the role of music, women, innovation, and art as political action in African American poetry. Conceiving of a new canon reveals the influential role of African American poetry in defining and reflecting the United States at all points in the nation's history.
About the author: Lauri Scheyer holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago. She is Xiaoxiang Scholars Program Distinguished Professor, British and American Poetry Research Center Director, and Co-Editor of "Journal of Foreign Languages and Cultures" at Hunan Normal University, China. Her books include Slave Songs and the Birth of African American Poetry (Palgrave Macmillan), The Heritage Series of Black Poetry (Routledge), Theatres of War (Bloomsbury), Every Goodbye Ain’t Gone and What I Say with Aldon Lynn Nielsen (Alabama), and Selected Poems of Calvin C. Hernton with David Grundy (Wesleyan).  
About the interlocutor: Tyrone Williams teaches literature and theory at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of several chapbooks and seven books of poetry: c.c. (Krupskaya 2002), On Spec (Omnidawn 2008), The Hero Project of the Century (The Backwaters Press 2009), Adventures of Pi (Dos Madres Press 2011), Howell (Atelos Books 2011), As Iz (Omnidawn 2018), and, with Pat Clifford, washpark (Delete Press, 2021)). A limited-edition art project, Trump l’oeil, was published by Hostile Books in 2017. He and Jeanne Heuving edited an anthology of critical essays, Inciting Poetics (University of New Mexico Press, 2019). His website is at 
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