"A pivotal figure . . . Hers is, in the final analysis, a grand presence that this collected volume of lifetime works affirms."
In selecting Margaret Walker as the recipient of the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 1942—making her the first African American to receive this national literary award—Stephen Vincent Benét proclaimed hers a vibrant new voice, finding in her collection For My People “a controlled intensity of emotion and a language that, at times, even when it is most modern, has something of a surge of biblical poetry.”
Today, more than seventy years later, Walker’s voice still resonates with particular power. Addressing the literature and culture of black America, This Is My Century, first published in 1989, marked a significant contribution to American poetry, bringing together Walker’s selection of one hundred of her own poems. On the eve of the centennial of Walker’s birth, the University of Georgia Press is proud to reissue this classic of American letters. In addition to her award-winning debut collection, the volume includes Prophets for a New Day (1970), a celebration of the civil rights movement; October Journey (1973), a collection of autobiographical and dedicatory poems; and thirty-seven previously uncollected poems.
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