Anne Spencer between Worlds

Title Details

Pages: 248

Illustrations: 6 b&w images

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in

Formats

Paperback

Pub Date: 02/15/2023

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6293-9

List Price: $29.95

Hardcover

Pub Date: 02/15/2023

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6295-3

List Price: $114.95

Subsidies and Partnerships

Published with the generous support of Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum

Anne Spencer between Worlds

A new critical lens for interpreting Spencer's expansive life and imagination

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  • Description
  • Reviews

Anne Spencer between Worlds provides an indispensable reassessment of a critically neglected figure. Looking beyond the poetry she published during the Harlem Renaissance, Noelle Morrissette provides a new critical lens for interpreting Spencer's expansive life and imagination through her archives, giving particular focus to her manuscripts authored from 1940 to 1975.

Through its attentiveness to Spencer's published and unpublished work, her work as a librarian and an activist, and the political dimensions of her writing, Anne Spencer between Worlds transforms our understanding of Spencer. It offers a sustained examination of poetry and ecology, and the relationships among race, gender, and archives, through its analysis of the manuscripts that Spencer produced and revised throughout her life. Morrissette argues that the expansiveness, depth, and range of Spencer's writing has not been appreciated because she did not publish this incomplete, ongoing work. She also demonstrates that careful reading of the manuscripts challenges many of the assumptions that have governed Spencer's reception.

In Anne Spencer between Worlds, Spencer emerges as a deeply engaged political poet who used the creative possibilities of the unpublished manuscript to explore pressing political and cultural concerns and to develop experimental cultural forms. In her unpublished manuscripts, Spencer pushed beyond the lyric mode to develop experimental forms that were alert to the expressive possibilities of the epic, prose, correspondence, and mixed genres. Indeed, Spencer's manuscripts serve as witnesses of historical and poetic junctions for the poet and for the attentive reader of her archives.

Anne Spencer between Worlds will make a significant contribution not only to Harlem Renaissance scholarship but also to scholarship on women's poetry and women's literary history. . . . The book promises to be a rich resource for scholars and students studying African American women's literature, women's poetry, the New Negro Movement, and the intersections between archival studies and women's studies.

—Miriam Thaggert, author of Images of Black Modernism: Verbal and Visual Strategies of the Harlem Renaissance

This book provides an indispensable reassessment of a critically neglected figure that will have a long life in the classroom and among successive generations of scholars of Black U.S. women's writing, the New Negro movement, and women's poetry.

—Rachel Farebrother, author of The Collage Aesthetic in the Harlem Renaissance

About the Author/Editor

Noelle Morrissette is an associate professor of English and program director of African American and African Diaspora Studies at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is author of James Weldon Johnson's Modern Soundscapes and the editor of New Perspectives on James Weldon Johnson's "The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man" (Georgia). She lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.