(02/01/2015) The Black Interior: Essays by Elizabeth Alexander. Saint Paul. 2004. Graywolf Press. paperback. 224 pages.  Cover design by Julie Metz. Cover art: Elizabeth Catlett. ‘The Black Women Speaks’.  keywords: Literature Black Women Essays African American. 1555973930.



   ‘Elizabeth Alexander is one of the brightest stars in our literary sky. a poet of poise and power. Now we see that she’s also capable of striking prose. These essays speak eloquently not only about literature - especially poetry - but also about life itself and the complicated culture in which we live. Her sharp intelligence and her knowledge of the contemporary arts make her a superb, invaluable commentator on the American scene.’ - Arnold Rampersad, Stanford University. ‘When a poet of such declarative distinction as Elizabeth Alexander unfolds her critical wings, she swoops across the landscape of Black cultural thought, making it new, making it her own. This is a work of great generosity and insight that explores the deep springs of African American creativity with a sensibility that is both moving and engaging.’ - Homi K. Bhabha, Rothenberg Professor of English, Harvard University. ‘In prose that is both elegant and clear, rigorous and accessible, Elizabeth Alexander illuminates in these essays on art, literature, film and politics, places in African American culture that elude stereotypic representations and the limits of public discourse.’ - Valerie Smith, Princeton University. ‘Elizabeth Alexander’s keen observations about a broad range of African American artifacts - poems, films, photographs, and conceptual art, for example - offer far more than clever visual analysis. They set cultural objects into their broadest social context. In these perceptive and eloquent essays, Alexander continually reminds us of the power of representation – words, images, indeed art itself - to oppress, to provoke, and ultimately to liberate. THE BLACK INTERIOR represents the best and most resonant form of cultural history writing that tackles life-and-death issues through the lenses of visual and literary culture.’ - Maurice Berger, Senior Fellow, The Vera List Center for Art & Politics, New School University.


 Elizabeth Alexander is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently ANTEBELLUM DREAM BOOK. She has taught and lectured on African American art and culture across the country and abroad for nearly two decades. Alexander currently teaches English and African American Studies at Yale University.



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