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The Poems 1951-1967 (volume3)

by Langston Hughes

  • ISBN: 9780826213419
  • ISBN10: 0826213413

The Poems 1951-1967 (volume3)

by Langston Hughes

  • List Price: $45.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Missouri Pr
  • Publish date: 06/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780826213419
  • ISBN10: 0826213413
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Description: Nearly a century after his birth in Joplin, Missouri, Langston Hughes is, in a sense, coming home. The University of Missouri Press is proud to announce the publication of The Collected Works of Langston Hughes, a compilation of the novels, short stories, poems, plays, and essays by one of the twentieth century's most prolific and influential African American authors. The sixteen-volume series will make available Hughes's most famous works as well as less well known and out-of-print selections, providing readers and libraries with a comprehensive source for the first time.

Hughes moved to Harlem in the 1920s and ultimately became the most prominent figure in the literary, artistic, and intellectual phenomenon known as the Harlem Renaissance. Hughes wrote articles for The Crisis and in 1926 published his first book of poetry, The Weary Blues. Over the decades until his death in 1967, he became one of the best-known and most versatile American writers of the twentieth century. His creative range -- poetry, novels, short fiction, drama, translations, gospel-song plays, libretti, juvenile fiction, radio and television scripts, history, biography, and autobiography -- is unique in American letters.

The sixteen volumes of the Collected Works are to be published with the goal that Hughes pursued throughout his lifetime: making his books available to the people. Each volume will include a biographical and literary chronology by Arnold Rampersad, as well as an introduction by a Hughes scholar. The volume introductions will provide contextual and historical information on the particular work.

Volume 3 collects the poems of the last period of Hughes's life. Montage of a Dream Deferred (1951)brilliantly fused the modernist dissonances of bebop jazz with his perception of Harlem life as both a triumph of hope and a potential crisis ("What happens to a dream deferred?"). In the tumultuous following years, he refused to relinquish the mantle of the poet, as may be seen in his inspired last two books of verse, Ask Your Mama (1961) and The Panther and the Lash (1967). The former demonstrates Hughes's continuing alertness to the significance of black music as a guide to American reality; here, avant-garde jazz rhythms and allusions fueled an intensity of language that predicted the cultural upheavals of the sixties and seventies. Hughes's last volume, combining old and new poems, emphasized the struggle for civil rights in the face of reactionary defiance, on the one hand, and the volatility of Black Power, on the other. Vigorous and versatile to the end, Hughes concluded his career as he had begun it: a master poet dedicated to observing and celebrating African American culture in its full complexity.

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