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Minor Notes, Volume 1

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Minor Notes, Volume 1 by
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Apr 11, 2023 | ISBN 9780593631232 | 217 Minutes

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  • Apr 11, 2023 | ISBN 9780143137269

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“You feel you’re meeting them on a human level. The book is slim and portable, as the best poetry books are (…) Bennett and McCarthy, in their introduction, set out their criteria for inclusion in ‘Minor Notes.’ They list things like ‘minimal appearance’ in anthologies and ‘very little, if anything, in the way of secondary literature focusing on their work.’ But it becomes plain that they chose these poets because they still speak across generations. This is a passion project.(…) This is a reclamation project that goes through you like a spear.”
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“Joshua Bennett and Jesse McCarthy, both scholars of African American literature, aim to widen the canon of Black poetry by spotlighting poets who have been overlooked (…) giving readers an understanding of their unique voice and poetic concerns. (…) David Wadsworth Cannon Jr., Henrietta Cordelia Ray, Anne Spencer, and other poets interrogate everything from labor politics to friendship in finely wrought lyrics that delight and surprise, prompting the reader to wonder how these geniuses could have been sidelined for so long.”
Poets & Writers

“The first in a series recovering the out-of-print words of Black poets whose work shaped the 19th and 20th centuries, Minor Notes, Volume 1 draws a bright line between the creations of the past and those of today’s bards. Curated by Joshua Bennett and Jesse McCarthy, while featuring a foreword from former poet laureate Tracy K. Smith, the book centers clear, resonant voices—like that of Angelina Weld Grimké’s, who ruminates joyfully on the beauty of living in a Black body.”

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