Shaping Memories
Reflections of African American Women Writers

Edited by Joanne Veal Gabbin

240 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, introduction

978-1-60473-274-0 Cloth $30.00T

Cloth, $30.00

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Essays by twenty-five prominent writers who reveal decisive moments in their careers

With contributions from Janus Adams, Elizabeth Brown- Guillory, Eugenia Collier, Daryl Cumber Dance, Toi Derricotte, Camille Dungy, Mari Evans, Nikky Finney, Joanne Veal Gabbin, Carmen R. Gillespie, Nikki Giovanni, Sandra Y. Govan, Maryemma Graham, Kendra Hamilton, Trudier Harris, Karla FC Holloway, Lovalerie King, Paule Marshall, Marilyn Sanders Mobley, Opal Moore, Linda Williamson Nelson, Joyce Pettis, Hermine Pinson, Sonia Sanchez, and Ethel Morgan Smith

Shaping Memories offers short essays by notable black women writers on pivotal moments that strongly influenced their careers. With contributions from such figures as novelist Paule Marshall, folklorist Daryl Cumber Dance, poets Mari Evans and Camille Dungy, essayist Ethel Morgan Smith, and scholar Maryemma Graham, the anthology provides a thorough overview of the formal concerns and thematic issues facing contemporary black women writers.

Editor Joanne Veal Gabbin offers an introduction that places these writers in the context of American literature in general and African American literature in particular. Each essay includes a headnote summarizing the writer's career and aesthetic development. In their pieces these women negotiate educational institutions and societal restrictions and find their voices despite racism, sexism, and religious chauvinism. They offer strong testimony to the power of words to heal, transform, and renew.

Joanne Veal Gabbin is executive director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center and professor of English at James Madison University. She is the editor of Furious Flower: African American Poetry from the Black Arts Movement to the Present and the author of Sterling A. Brown: Building the Black Aesthetic Tradition.

240 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, introduction