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Michigan State University

RCAH 202 - Fall 2015 - Professor Lisa Biggs: Poetry


We have a wealth of poetry in Special Collections. Thanks to our American Radicalism collection, we are strong in poetry about political and social concerns.

Black Arts movement: Broadside Press

The Broadside Press was founded in Detroit in 1965 by Dudley Randall. It was instrumental in bringing many Black poets to national attention.

Our holdings

We have about 100 items issued by the press, many of which are actual broadsides. (This term means poetry or prose printed on a single sheet, so it can be framed or posted.)

How to find

Search the MSU library catalog.

  • Limit to Special Collections.
  • Keyword search "broadside press" (use quotation marks to get the phrase instead of the separate words)

Black Arts Movement: Third World Press

The Third World Press was founded in Chicago in 1967 by Haki R. Madhubuti, Carolyn Rodgers, and Johari Amini. It is now the largest Black-owned publisher in the U.S.

Our holdings

The majority of our holdings are in Main, with about 25 early titles in Special Collections.

How to find

Search the MSU library catalog.

Keyword search "third world press" (use quotation marks to get the phrase instead of the separate words)

Black arts movement: other publications

In addition to strong holdings of the Broadside Press and Third World Press (described above), we have scattered holdings of several other publications of the Black Arts movement.

Feminist poetry

Answer to a Man's Question, "What Can I Do About Women's Liberation?" This is a broadside, or poetry meant be displayed like a poster. Poem by Susan Griffin, illustrated by Bonnie L. Carpenter, dated 1973.

Search for collections of feminist poetry.

Poetry on political violence in Central America

Missing: Poems, by Ariel Dorfman. Published by the British Section of Amnesty International (1980s).

El Salvador: Requiem and Invocation, by Denise Levertov. Boston: Back Bay Chorale, 1983.

We Continue Forever: Sorrow and Strength of Guatemalan Women. NY: Women's International Resource Exchange, 1983.

Poetry from the anti-apartheid movement

Poets to the People: South African Freedom Poems. London: Heinemann, 1980.

Sirens, Knuckles, Boots: Poems. Dennis Brutus. Nigeria: Mbari, 1963.

Poetry from the Vietnam War protest movement

A Poetry Reading for Peace in Vietnam. Community Council to End the War in Vietnam, 1967.

And many more: search for vietnam and (poems or poetry) in Special Collections.

20th century political poetry

Black Arts movement: notable figures

Many authors, critics, and theater professionals were associated with the Black Arts movement. The list below is from Left of the Color Line: Race, Radicalism, and Twentieth-Century Literature of the United States. Links are provide for authors whose work we have in Special Collections.

Michigan State University