Gillespie has collected an impressively varied array of genres for this volume in the "Griot Project Book Series," which looks at the aesthetics, art, history, and culture of African America and the African diaspora. More than a scholarly exploration, the collection celebrates Morrison and her wide influence on other practitioners. There are chapters on Morrison's work in relation to other arts--music, painting, dance--with links to audio tracks from Richard Danielpour's opera Margaret Garner, based on Beloved, and to the poet-musicians Mendi and Keith Obadike's lovely "Praise Song for Toni Morrison," and also poems by Sonia Sanchez and a memoir by Nikki Giovanni. Gillespie includes scholarly pieces by Jan Furman about the relationship between moral knowledge and aesthetics in Morrison's Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (CH, Oct'92, 30-0768), and by Susan Mayberry, who discusses modernism, race, and food in Tar Baby--to cite just two examples of this collection's riches. A chronology and bibliography of Morrison's work are included. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers
T.H. Oliviero, Pratt Institute, Choice Reviews September 2013.
With a certain dedication to the world of literature and poetry, Carmen Gillespie provides deft verse that speaks with the passion and excellence of a master. "Jonestown: A Vexation" is her latest collection of verse as she asks many questions, answers many questions, and finds that the answers we find only leave us with even more questions. "Jonestown" is an excellent compilation that belongs in any community and college library modern poetry collection. "Haiku for the White Knight": His knighthood was a/sword heavy and lowering/towards their outstretched necks.
Gillespie, author of this installment in the Critical Companions series, is professor of English and director of the Griot Institute of Africana Studies at Bucknell University (and also the author of Critical Companion to Toni Morrison, 2008). Like others in the series, the Walker volume is divided into four sections: Biography, Works A to Z, Related People, Places, and Topics, and Appendixes. In Works A to Z, Walker's works are subdivided into novels, short fiction, poetry, nonfiction, children's books, and selected audio recordings. All of the entries for adult novels have an extensive synopsis, critical commentary, a discussion of significant themes, and analysis of characters, along with references for further reading. The entry for Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Color Purple, also includes information on the film and musical adaptations. Entries for collections of short fiction, poetry, and nonfiction all include references. Entries for individual poems and essays provide a description and sometimes a critical commentary. The entries for children's books include descriptions only. Related People, Places, and Topics has entries for Buddhism; Hurston, Zora Neale; Ms. Magazine; and Womanism, to give a few examples. The appendixes comprise a chronology of Walker's life, a list of awards and recognitions, a bibliography of Walker's works, and a bibliography of secondary sources. Gillespie does an excellent job of creating readable entries geared for high-school students and undergraduates. This book is highly recommended for high-school libraries, university libraries serving undergraduates, and large public libraries.
Crosser, Cynthia 2010
Prize. The titular poem of the latter collection was selected by Motionpoems for development by Sundance award-winning director, Malik Vitthal, for production as a film short, which will premiere in Minneapolis in November of 2016. Carmen’s awards include an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship for Excellence in Poetry and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and a Fulbright scholar. Essence magazine named Carmen one of its 40 favorite poets in commemoration of the magazine’s 40th anniversary. Carmen’s most-recent manuscript, The Ghosts of Monticello: A Recitative was recently selected as a semi-finalist for the University of Akron Poetry Prize, a finalist in the 2016 Cleveland State, Open Book Poetry Prize and is currently a finalist for the 2016 Stillhouse Press Poetry Contest.
Carmen Gillespie is a professor of English and director and founder of the Griot Institute for Africana Studies at Bucknell University. In addition to many individual article and poem publications, she is the author of the scholarly works, A Critical Companion to Toni Morrison (2007), A Critical Companion to Alice Walker (2011), and the editor of Toni Morrison: Forty Years in the Clearing (2012). Carmen has also published a poetry chapbook, Lining the Rails (2008) and two poetry collections, Jonestown: A Vexation, which won the 2011 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Prize and The Blue Black Wet of Wood (2016), the winner of Two Sylvia’s Wilder Series Poetry
MotionPoems Season 7 Premiere
6:00 p.m. & 9:00 p.m.
WALKER ART CENTER
Minneapolis, Minnesota including the screening of Malik Vittal's
short film of
Carmen Gillespie's poem
"The Blue Black Wet of Wood"
Stadler Center for Poetry
Poetry & Fiction Reading
& CHINELO OKPARANTA
7 p.m. Bucknell Hall
Tel: 570-577-2123 |