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At the Dusk of Dawn
Selected Poetry and Prose of Albery Allson Whitman
Albery Allson Whitman; Ivy G. Wilson, ed.

Northeastern Library of Black Literature

Northeastern University Press
2009 • 368 pp. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4"
Poetry / African-American Studies

$55.00 Hardcover, 978-1-55553-707-4

"Not only does Professor Wilson bring us a generous selection of Whitman's poetry; he places the poet nicely in the history of black poetry between the end of reconstruction and the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's." Hart County News-Herald (KY)

Restores Whitman’s place in the canons of African American literature and nineteenth-century American poetry

Albery Allson Whitman (1851–1901), born the child of slaves in Kentucky, made his livelihood as a preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He also produced a prodigious amount of poetry. Many of these works—replete with “mulatto” figures and vignettes about black, Native, and white subjects in the frontier spaces of the Midwest and Florida—prefigure current preoccupations in literary and cultural studies.

This collection includes selections from all of his major narrative poems, along with other poems, letters, and a sermon. By collecting and republishing these works—many of which have been out of print for more than a century—this volume restores Whitman’s standing as one of the most important post-Civil War African American writers.

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“In his informative introduction to this collection, Wilson makes the case for raising awareness of this prolific, historically significant poet. In addition to including more than 40 shorter poems and extensive excerpts from Whitman’s four longer narratives, Wilson provides Whitman’s prefaces to the longer works and several letters addressed to his contemporaries . . . Recommended.”Choice


“In addition to offering an expert introduction to Whitman’s life and work, Wilson also presents a compelling case for attending to the aesthetic conflicts and aspirations so central to a neglected period in African American literary, cultural, and political history.”John Ernest, Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of American Literature, West Virginia University

At the Dusk of Dawn should renew scholarly interest not only in Whitman’s literary accomplishments, but also in those of an African American generation struggling to define its intellectual, cultural, and political identity between Reconstruction’s dispiriting end in the 1870s and the ‘New Negro’ renaissance in the 1920s.”Gene Andrew Jarrett, Associate Professor of English and African American Studies, Boston University, and author of Deans and Truants: Race and Realism in African American Literature

Ivy G. Wilson is Assistant Professor of English at Northwestern University. He is the author of Specters of Democracy: Blackness and the Aesthetics of Nationalism.

Fri, 21 Sep 2012 08:30:45 -0500