Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem's First Decade

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University of Michigan Press, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 210 pages
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Cave Canem has for the past ten years dedicated itself to the discovery and cultivation of new voices in African American poetry. Founded in 1996 by prizewinning poets Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady, Cave Canem began as a weeklong summer workshop/retreat and has now expanded to include regional workshops, poetry readings, a series of public conversations between major poets and emerging younger poets, and an annual first-book prize.

To mark the first decade of this pathbreaking project, Gathering Ground presents more than one hundred poems by Cave Canem participants and faculty. It embraces an impressive and eclectic gathering of forms, including sonnets, a bop (a new form created by a Cave Canem faculty member), blues, sestinas, prose poems, centos, free verse, and more. The roster of distinguished contributors includes Lucille Clifton, Yusef Komunyakaa, Marilyn Nelson, Sonya Sanchez, Al Young, and many others.

For newcomers and aficionados alike, Gathering Ground assembles in one place the most innovative voices in contemporary African American poetry and boldly attests to the important position it holds in verse-making today.

Toi Derricotte is author of the memoir The Black Notebooks and of four books of poetry: Tender, Captivity, Natural Birth, and The Empress of the Death House. She is Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. Cornelius Eady is the author of Brutal Imagination, Autobiography of a Jukebox, You Don't Miss Your Water, The Gathering of My Name, and Victims of the Latest Dance Craze. He is Associate Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame.

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Opal Palmer Adisa Peeling Off the Skin
Venise N Battle Bop Poem
Angela A Bickham Spirit Led
Angela Brooks Crossing Over
Toni Brown Dreadlocks
Hayes Davis Carapace
Cornelius Eady Im a Fool to Love You
Cherene Sherrard Parade of Flesh
Christina Springer Exile Propriety
Venus Thrash Wild Like That
Afaa Michael Weaver Charleston
Karen Williams These Bones
Yolanda Wisher Nola

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About the author (2006)

Derricotte was born in Detroit, Michigan. She is an associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. With Cornelius Eady she founded Cave Canem, a workshop retreat for African American poets.

Cornelius Eady is the director of the Creative Writing program at the University of Notre Dame. He is the co-founder and vice president of Cave Canem, a retreat for African-American poets. Among his many awards are the Academy of American Poets Lamont Prize and fellowships from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim foundations. Eady was a finalist for the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for his music-drama "Running Man" and the 2001 National Book Award for "Brutal Imagination," He is the author of seven previous volumes.

Camille T. Dungy is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at San Francisco State University.

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