"Comprising more than two hundred pieces, Spirit and Flame delivers the artistic and political fervor of new and established black voices around the country in the oral tradition, in tanka and sonnets, in lyrics that echo the sound of jazz (as well as hip hop and rap). Keith Gilyard's compilation of the best and the brightest black poets demonstrates that the African American scene is vibrant and diverse, at times unidentifiably ethnic and strongly political. These poems span the entire range of the African American experience, from the Middle Passage to the Million Man March. They are written with elegance, terror, humor,and grace. Spirit and Flame is highly recommended for poetry class reading lists, for black studies, and for anyone who appreciates the power and artistry of the poetic voice."—Midwest Book Review
"An anthology of African American poetry emphasizing contemporary hipness and a variety of strategies that underline the political as well as the aesthetics of poetry. The collection offers new and established voices from the US working in the oral tradition, sonnets, and lyrics which resound with jazz, hip hop, rap, and experiences from the Middle Passage to the Million Man March. Some of the poets selected represent the best of American poetry inside and outside the 'black aesthetic,' including Amiri Baraka, Rita Dove, Keith Gilyard, gale jackson, Ishmael Reed, Sonia Sanchez, Patricia Smith, Quincy Troupe, and Al Young."—Book News
Keith Gilyard is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and African-American Studies and Senior Faculty Mentor in the Office of Educational Equity at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of several books including True to the Language Game: African American Discourse, Cultural Politics, and Pedagogy.
6 x 9, 328 pages