Ropes by Derrick Harriel was originally published in 2013 as a collection based on the lives of four famous boxers: Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Joe Frazier, and Mike Tyson. This 10th-anniversary edition contains new poems and a new Introduction by Kiese Laymon. Made up of persona poems about the greatest boxers in American history, Ropes is considered a leading commentary on African American life and culture in the past 100 years. Harriell is an associate professor of African American Studies and English at the University of Mississippi and the new director of the university’s African American Studies program. He is a past winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Prize in Poetry.
October Journey: Poems by Margaret Walker 50th Anniversary Edition Aquarius Press, July 2023
Celebrating a beloved collection’s return after 50 years, October Journey, first published in 1973, is being reissued with the addition of works not seen in decades. Margaret Abigail Walker Alexander (July 7, 1915 – November 30, 1998) was an American poet and writer. She was part of the African-American literary movement in Chicago, known as the Chicago Black Renaissance. Her notable works include For My People (1942) which won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition, and the novel Jubilee (1966), set in the South during the American Civil War.
Black Fire This Time, Volume 1 is an anthology celebrating the roots and legacy of the Black Arts Movement begins with a foreword by Ishmael Reed and introduction by Margot Crawford and features the works of over 100 poets and writers, including (in no particular order) Nikki Giovanni, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Amina Baraka, Eugene B. Redmond, Lucille Clifton, Haki R. Madhubuti, Wanda Coleman, E. Ethelbert Miller, Jerry Ward, Tom Dent, Michael Simanga, Quincy Troupe, Margaret Porter Troupe, Dudley Randall, Askia Toure, QR Hand, Jr., Denise Nicholas, Sonia Sanchez and many more. Michigan writer Denise Nicholas’s chapter is based on her true story as a voting rights volunteer from Michigan in 1964, inspired Michigan’s Office of the Governor to issue a Proclamation for an annual Freedom Summer Remembrance Day. Aquarius Press owner Heather Buchanan is a graduate of Wayne State University and UM-Dearborn, respectively. She was a director of the Idlewild Writers Conference and Midwest Poets & Writers Conference. Her press publishes many of the nation’s top poets and writers of color and national laureates, Including Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy (Louisiana), devorah major and Tongo Eisen-Martin (San Francisco) and Lupe Mendez (Texas). If not for yourself, consider purchasing a copy for your local public or school library.