Zalka Peetruza (Who Was Christened Lucy Jane) for National Poetry Month

Here’s a sharp short poem about an alienated performer written by a little-known Afro-American poet who slots in between Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes, Raymond G. Dandridge.*   Given that most 20th century Afro-American poets get placed in the “Harlem Renaissance” shelf-section, it’s notable that all three of these Black poets have connections with Ohio. … Continue reading Zalka Peetruza (Who Was Christened Lucy Jane) for National Poetry Month

Anne Spencer’s “Dunbar” for National Poetry Month

In 1922, amazing Afro-American polymath James Weldon Johnson* published an audacious anthology titled The Book of American Negro Poetry.   Not only did it claim that there was a tradition worth an anthology at that early date; in his preface Johnson made the observation that Afro-American music was disproportionately important in American musical culture, and furthermore … Continue reading Anne Spencer’s “Dunbar” for National Poetry Month