American Sublime Poems

Elizabeth Alexander

Graywolf Press




96 Pages



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With uncommon skill, intelligence, and beauty, Alexander (Yale University) voices the outcries, dreams, and histories of an African American tradition that goes back to the rebellion on the slave schooner Amistad and to the great paintings of nineteenth-century America. Throughout, we encounter persona poems, historical narratives, jazz riffs, sonnets, elegies, and a sequence of ars poetica written by a poet whose "poems bristle with the irresistible quality of a world seen fresh" (The Washington Post). American Sublime is her most vivid and varied collection of poems and affirms her place as one of America's most gifted writers.


Praise for American Sublime

"With a scholarly grasp of personal, political, and private histories, Alexander's newest collection examines the African American experience, particularly during the nineteenth century, in poems about ancestry, language, religion, poetry, and art . . . The collection as a whole is a powerful contribution to American poetry."—Booklist

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  • Elizabeth Alexander

  • Elizabeth Alexander is the author of three other poetry collections, most recently Antebellum Dream Book, as well as a collection of essays, The Black Interior. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.