Paul Laurence Dunbar, introduced to the American public by William Dean Howells, was the first native-born African American poet to achieve national and international fame. While there have been many valuable editions of his works over time, gaps have developed when manuscripts were lost or uncollected works became difficult to access. In His Own Voice brings together new and previously uncollected short stories, essays, and poems. Significantly, this volume also establishes Dunbar's reputation as a dramatist who mastered standard English conventions and used dialect in musical comedy for ironic effects. In His Own Voice collects more than a hundred works in six genres. Featured are the previously unpublished play Herrick and Dunbar's subversion of the minstrel tradition into one-acts that have been largely ignored for a century. This generous expension of the canon also includes a short story never before published. Professor Herbert Woodward Martin, renowned for his live portrayal of Dunbar, and Professor Ronald Primeau provide a literary and historical context to this previously untreated material, firmly cementing the reputation of an important American voice.
Herbert Woodward Martin, poet-in residence at the University of Dayton and Laureate Poet for Dayton, Ohio, is the author of six books of poetry, two opera libretti, and the text for a new Magnificat. He has given readings of Dunbar's poetry around the world for the past twenty years. Ronald Primeau is a professor of English and director of the Master of Arts in Humanities program at Central Michigan University. He has published widely on American and British literature, literary theory, composition and rhetoric, and the electronic media. His most recent book is Romance of the Road: The Literature of the American Highway.
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- ID: 9780821414224
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