In 1962, the Heritage Series of Black Poetry, founded and edited by Paul Breman, published Robert Hayden's A Ballad of Remembrance. By 1975, the Series had published 27 volumes by some of the twentieth-century's most important and influential poets. As elaborated in Lauri Ramey's extensive scholarly introduction, this innovative volume has dual purposes: To provide primary sources that recover the history and legacy of this groundbreaking publishing venture, and to serve as a research companion for scholars working on the Series and on twentieth-century black poetry. Never-before-published primary materials include Paul Breman's memoir, retrospectives by several of the poets published in the Series, a photo-documentary of W.E.B. Du Bois's 1958 visit to The Netherlands, poems by poets represented in the Series, and scholarly essays. Also included are bibliographies of the Heritage poets and of the Heritage Press Archives at the Chicago Public Library. This reference work is an essential resource for scholars working in the fields of black poetry, transatlantic studies, and twentieth-century book history.
Lauri Ramey is Professor of Creative Writing and English, and Director, Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics at California State University, Los Angeles, USA.
'A rich and revelatory portrait of one of the most extraordinary publishing ventures in the history of African diasporic literature. To read this research compendium is to revise the map of 1960s black poetry, to sense the submarine links among writers across the Atlantic and across generations. With its inclusion of Harlem Renaissance forerunners as well as mid-century modernists and Black Arts experimentalists, the Heritage Series' visionary company forces us to recalibrate our understanding of the politics of poetic innovation.' Brent Hayes Edwards, Columbia University, and author of The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism (2003) ’Anyone seeking to understand black poets and their work will want to consult this volume. Highly recommended.’ Choice ’... this volume is a means for accessing a stream of poetry that has been undervalued and might not otherwise have come into publication at all, and then might have been lost altogether. The first phase of the recovery of these innovative voices has been solidly made, and it remains for scholars, students, and readers to follow in the path of this vanguard compendium, searching out and exploring the full complement of the writings of these challenging and rewarding poets.’ Callaloo ’This anthology celebrates the Heritage Series of Black Poetry, which was founded and edited by Paul Breman and which published a total of 27 volumes of poetry between 1962 and 1975. Taken together, these publications comprise an impressive and important body of work.’ Ethnicity and Race in a Changing World