Thursday, December 12, 2013

TCR Recommends -- "Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry" (An Interview with Editor Charles Henry Rowell)

The Committee Room recently spoke with Charles Henry Rowell, editor of Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. Critics have called Angles of Ascent, which was published by W.W. Norton earlier this year, " enormous and solid bequest to readers of American poetry" and a "a must-have powerhouse poetry anthology."

The anthology focuses on poems created in the last thirty years. "I wanted to give readers a cross-section of what I consider as the representative literary poetry that African Americans are now producing," Rowell explained to The Committee Room.

In order to provide a clearer understanding of what makes contemporary African American poetry different from what went before it, Angles of Ascent offers a sampling of earlier works by poets Rowell calls the "Precusors", including Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Audre Lorde, and Robert Hayden.

Poet Amiri Baraka, a "Precursor."
(photo by Newark Mosaic)
The title of the anthology comes from a line in Hayden's poem "For a Young Artist." Rowell told TCR that he hopes "that new and emerging writers will read the contemporary poets—poets who began the main of their writing and publishing since the 1980s—in Angles of Ascent as exempla of what is necessary to do with literary traditions: with a critical eye and ear to pick and choose what to use or discard...Whatever you, as artist, choose, you, like the contemporary poets in the anthology, should try to extend, refine, or remake it, in your own voice, or reshape it in terms of your own vision as a necessary voice in your time."

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

TCR Story of the Month Author Update: Jay Duret's Essay "Riding Sidecar" in December Magazine

San Francisco-based writer Jay Duret, whose story "Ordinary Life" was TCR Story of the Month for June, has just had his essay "Riding Sidecar" published in December Magazine.  

In this thoughtful and witty piece Duret writes about his experience with the social movement "collaborative consumption," specifically getting a ride to the airport by a willing and available stranger summoned by phone app.

To read "Riding Sidecar" click here.

The Committee Room.  Time Spent with TCR is Never Wasted.