The collected poems of Lorenzo Thomas

Lorenzo Thomas, 1944-2005

Book - 2019

"Lorenzo Thomas's Collected Poems is a thorough retrospective of the work of a poet of the Black Arts Movement in the United States in the 20th century. Often engaged with political and social upheavals, for example the civil rights movement and Vietnam War, Thomas uses formal experimentation and elements of music and pop culture to reflect upon the transforming experience of being an "American.""--

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Wesleyan poetry.
Middletown, Connecticut : Wesleyan University Press [2019]
Item Description
Includes index of titles and first lines.
Physical Description
xxix, 513 pages ; 23 cm
Main Author
Lorenzo Thomas, 1944-2005 (author)
  • Early crimes
  • Dracula
  • The bathers
  • Fit music
  • Slum days after the war
  • Euphemysticism
  • Jambalaya
  • Sound science
  • Chances are few
  • Dancing on Main Street
  • Additional poems.
Review by Choice Review

Nielsen (Penn State) and Vrana (Univ. of South Alabama) assembled this collection of the work of African American poet Lorenzo Thomas (1944--2005) to shed light on the interface between race and literature. Thomas was a major poet and influential citric in the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, and this excellent book makes him more visible. Thomas's work illuminates the social and racial tonalities of the turbulent period in which he lived. In the preface and introduction, Vrana and Nielsen, respectively, provide an overview of this important poet's life and work. The experience of Thomas's poetry is intertwined with the overall culture in the US, including the popular music of the time. At the same time, Thomas's vision was a "pan-African global identity." The editors are familiar with the various schools of poetry that coexisted and interacted with African American aesthetics of the time: the Black Mountain poets, the Beat movement, the New York School. Thomas's poetry reveals the influences--some contemporaneous, some much earlier--of writers as diverse as Ezra Pound and Langston Hughes. Prose statements by Thomas follow the poetry and enhance the collection. The absence of a list of Thomas's books, with dates, is regrettable. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. --Barry Wallenstein, emeritus, CUNY City College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.