25 Books Published by University of Pittsburgh Press on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about I: New and Selected Poems by Toi Derricotte I: New and Selected Poems

by Toi Derricotte
University of Pittsburgh Press (Mar 26, 2019)
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In Derricotte’s own words:

"How do you gain access to the
power of parts of yourself you
abhor, and make them sing
with beauty, tenderness, and compassion?

This is the record of fifty years
of victories in the reclamation
of a poet’s voice."


Click for more detail about Refuse: Poems by Julian Randall Refuse: Poems

by Julian Randall
University of Pittsburgh Press (Sep 18, 2018)
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Winner of the 2017 Cave Canem Poetry Prize


Click for more detail about Spirit Boxing by Afaa Michael Weaver Spirit Boxing

by Afaa Michael Weaver
University of Pittsburgh Press (Jan 25, 2017)
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In Spirit Boxing, Weaver revisits his working class core. The veteran of fifteen years as a factory worker in his native Baltimore, he mines his own experience to build a wellspring of craft in poems that extend from his life to the lives that inhabit the whole landscape of the American working class. He writes with an intimacy that is unique in American poetry, and echoes previous comparisons of his oeuvre to that of Walt Whitman. The singularity of his voice resonates here through the prism of his realization of self through a lifelong project of the integration of American and Chinese culture. The work is Daoist in influence and structure as it echoes both a harmonic realization of context and the intuitive and transcendent dance of body, mind, and spirit.


Click for more detail about Wild Hundreds by Nate Marshall Wild Hundreds

by Nate Marshall
University of Pittsburgh Press (Sep 09, 2015)
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Winner, 2016 BCALA Literary Award (poetry category) Winner of the 2014 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize Finalist, 2015 NAACP Image Awards (poetry category) Wild Hundreds is a long love song to Chicago. The book celebrates the people, culture, and places often left out of the civic discourse and the travel guides. Wild Hundreds is a book that displays the beauty of black survival and mourns the tragedy of black death.


Click for more detail about Boy with Thorn (Pitt Poetry Series) by Rickey Laurentiis Boy with Thorn (Pitt Poetry Series)

by Rickey Laurentiis
University of Pittsburgh Press (Sep 09, 2015)
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Winner of the 2016 Levis Reading Prize
Winner of the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize
Finalist for the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award
Rickey Luarentiis is a winner of a 2018 Whiting Writers Prize

In a landscape at once the brutal American South as it is the brutal mind, Boy with Thorn interrogates the genesis of all poetic creation—the imagination itself, questioning what role it plays in both our fascinations with and repulsion from a national history of racial and sexual violence. The personal and political crash into one language here, gothic as it is supple, meditating on visual art and myth, to desire, the practice of lynching and Hurricane Katrina. Always at its center, though, is the poet himself—confessing a double song of pleasure and inevitable pain.


Click for more detail about Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (Pitt Poetry Series) by Ross Gay Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (Pitt Poetry Series)

by Ross Gay
University of Pittsburgh Press (Jan 07, 2015)
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Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is a sustained meditation on that which goes away—loved ones, the seasons, the earth as we know it—that tries to find solace in the processes of the garden and the orchard. That is, this is a book that studies the wisdom of the garden and orchard, those places where all—death, sorrow, loss—is converted into what might, with patience, nourish us.

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude has been "longlisted" for the National Book Award, poetry category.


Click for more detail about City of Eternal Spring (Pitt Poetry Series) by Afaa Michael Weaver City of Eternal Spring (Pitt Poetry Series)

by Afaa Michael Weaver
University of Pittsburgh Press (Sep 17, 2014)
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Winner of the 2015 Phillis Wheatley Book Award (poetry category) This is the final book in the Plum Flower Trilogy by Afaa Michael Weaver, published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. The two earlier books, The Plum Flower Dance: Poems 1985 to 2005 and The Government of Nature, reveal similar themes that address the author’s personal experience with childhood abuse through the context of Daoist renderings of nature as a metaphor for the human body, with an eye to recovery and forgiveness in a very eclectic spiritual life. City of Eternal Spring†chronicles Weaver’s travels abroad in Taiwan and China, as well as showing the limits of cultural influence.


Click for more detail about Tropic Tendencies: Rhetoric, Popular Culture, and the Anglophone Caribbean by Kevin Adonis Browne Tropic Tendencies: Rhetoric, Popular Culture, and the Anglophone Caribbean

by Kevin Adonis Browne
University of Pittsburgh Press (Sep 19, 2013)
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A legacy of slavery, abolition, colonialism, and class struggle has profoundly impacted the people and culture of the Caribbean. In Tropic Tendencies, Kevin Adonis Browne examines the development of an Anglophone Caribbean rhetorical tradition in response to the struggle to make meaning, maintain identity, negotiate across differences, and thrive in light of historical constraints and the need to participate in contemporary global culture.

Browne bases his study on the concept of the "Caribbean carnivalesque" as the formative ethos driving cultural and rhetorical production in the region and beyond it. He finds that carnivalesque discourse operates as a "continuum of discursive substantiation" that increases the probability of achieving desired outcomes for both the rhetor and the audience. Browne also views the symbolic and material interplay of the masque and its widespread use to amplify efforts of resistance, assertion, and liberation.

Browne analyzes rhetorical modes and strategies in a variety of forms, including music, dance, folklore, performance, sermons, fiction, poetry, photography, and digital media. He introduces chantwells, calypsonians, old talkers, jamettes, stickfighters, badjohns, and others as exemplary purveyors of Caribbean rhetoric and deconstructs their rhetorical displays. From novels by Earl Lovelace, he also extracts thematic references to kalinda, limbo, and dragon dances that demonstrate the author’s claim of an active vernacular sensibility. He then investigates the re-creation and reinvention of the carnivalesque in cyber culture, demonstrating the ways participants both flaunt and defy normative ideas of "Caribbeanness" in online and macro environments.


Click for more detail about The Government Of Nature (Pitt Poetry Series) by Afaa Michael Weaver The Government Of Nature (Pitt Poetry Series)

by Afaa Michael Weaver
University of Pittsburgh Press (Feb 01, 2013)
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This is the second volume of a trilogy (the first was The Plum Flower Dance) in which Weaver analyzes his life, striving to become the ideal poet. In The Government of Nature, Afaa Michael Weaver explores the trauma of his childhood—including sexual abuse—using a "cartography and thematic structure drawn from Chinese spiritualism." Weaver is a practitioner of Daoism, and this collection deals directly with the abuse in the context of Daoist renderings of nature as metaphor for the human body.

This volume of poetry includes the poem, “Scrapple,” which you may watch Afaa reads in the video below.

It was cousin Alvin who stole the liquor,
slipped down Aunt Mabie's steps on the ice,
fresh from jail for some small crime.
Alvin liked to make us laugh while he took
the liquor or other things we did not see,
in Aunt Mabie's with her floors polished,
wood she polished on her hands and knees
until they were truth itself and slippery
enough to trick you, Aunt Mabie who loved
her Calvert Extra and loved the bright inside
of family, the way we come connected in webs,
born in clusters of promises, dotted
with spots that mark our place in the karma
of good times, good times in the long ribbon 
of being colored I learned when colored
had just given way to Negro and Negro was
leaving us because blackness chased it out
of the house, made it slip on the ice, fall
down and spill N-e-g-r-o all over the sidewalk
until we were proud in a new avenue of pride,
as thick as the scrapple on Saturday morning
with King syrup, in the good times, between
the strikes and layoffs at the mills when work
was too slack, and Pop sat around pretending
not to worry, not to let the stream of sweat
he wiped from his head be anything except
the natural way of things, keeping his habits,
the paper in his chair by the window, the radio
with the Orioles, with Earl Weaver the screamer
and Frank Robinson the gentle black man,
keeping his habits, Mama keeping hers,
the WSID gospel in the mornings, dusting
the encyclopedias she got from the A&P,
collecting the secrets of neighbors, holding
marriages together, putting golden silence
on children who took the wrong turns, broke
the laws of getting up and getting down
on your knees. These brittle things we call
memories rise up, like the aroma of scrapple,
beauty and ugliness, life's mix
where the hard and painful things from folk
who know no boundaries live beside
the bright eyes that look into each other,
searching their pupils for paths to prayer.


Click for more detail about If One of Us Should Fall (Pitt Poetry Series) by Nicole Terez Dutton If One of Us Should Fall (Pitt Poetry Series)

by Nicole Terez Dutton
University of Pittsburgh Press (Aug 29, 2012)
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Winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize

“Nicole Terez Dutton’s fierce and formidable debut throbs with restless beauty and a lyrical undercurrent that is both empowered and unpredictable. Every poem is unsettling in that delicious way that changes and challenges the reader. There is nothing here that does not hurtle forward.”

—Patricia Smith


Click for more detail about Teenie Harris, Photographer: Image, Memory, History by Cheryl Finley, Laurence A. Glasco, and Joe W. Trotter Teenie Harris, Photographer: Image, Memory, History

by Cheryl Finley, Laurence A. Glasco, and Joe W. Trotter
University of Pittsburgh Press (Oct 28, 2011)
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Published in cooperation with Carnegie Museum of Art
With an introduction by Deborah Willis

The famous faces of Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong, Josephine Baker, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, and John F. Kennedy appear among the nearly eighty thousand photographs of Charles “Teenie” Harris (1908Ė1998). But it’s in the images of other, ordinary people and neighborhoods that Harris shows us a city and an era teeming with energy, culture, friendship, and family. In jazz clubs, Little League games, beauty contests, church functions, boxing matches, political events, protest marches, and everyday scenes, Teenie Harris captured the essence of African American life in Pittsburgh.
Harris’s career began as America emerged from the Great Depression and ended after the civil rights movement. As a photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the nation’s most influential black newspapers, Teenie hit the streets to record historic events and the people who lived them. The archive of Harris’s photography, part of the permanent collection of Carnegie Museum of Art, represents one of the most important documentations of twentieth-century African Americans and their communities. Today, even as Teenie Harris’s photography stands alongside that of Harlem’s famed James VanDerZee, his work in Pittsburgh’s Hill District surpasses that of all other photographers in its breadth and rich portrayal of black urban America.


Click for more detail about The Undertaker’s Daughter by Toi Derricotte The Undertaker’s Daughter

by Toi Derricotte
University of Pittsburgh Press (Oct 24, 2011)
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"This is a personal, moving work about child abuse, racial ’passing, ’ and women making art, and will attract all readers interested in these topics."

—Library Journal


Click for more detail about Bringing the Shovel Down (Pitt Poetry Series) by Ross Gay Bringing the Shovel Down (Pitt Poetry Series)

by Ross Gay
University of Pittsburgh Press (Jan 23, 2011)
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Bringing the Shovel Down is a re-imagination of the violent mythologies of state and power.


Click for more detail about Open Interval (Pitt Poetry Series) by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon Open Interval (Pitt Poetry Series)

by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
University of Pittsburgh Press (Apr 28, 2009)
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Drawing upon intersections of astronomy and mathematics, history, literature, and lived experience, the poems in Open Interval locate the self in the interval between body and name.


Click for more detail about Ostinato Vamps: Poems by Wanda Coleman Ostinato Vamps: Poems

by Wanda Coleman
University of Pittsburgh Press (Oct 19, 2003)
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Ostinato Vamps is Wanda Coleman’s first book of poetry since the demise of her longtime publisher, Black Sparrow Press. It continues and enlarges the traits that have been her hallmark for more than three decades: a fierce adherence to the tr

Book Review

Click for more detail about Song of Thieves by Shara McCallum Song of Thieves

by Shara McCallum
University of Pittsburgh Press (Mar 09, 2003)
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Song of Thieves delves into issues of racial identity and politics, the immigrant experience, and the search for "home" and family histories. In this follow-up to her award-winning debut collection, The Water Between Us, Shara McCallum artfully draws from the language and imagery of her Caribbean background to play a haunting and soulful tune.


Click for more detail about 20: Twenty Best Of Drue Heinz Literature Prize by John Edgar Wideman 20: Twenty Best Of Drue Heinz Literature Prize

by John Edgar Wideman
University of Pittsburgh Press (Mar 02, 2003)
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The Drue Heinz Literature Prize was established in 1980 to encourage and support the writing and reading of short fiction. Over the past twenty years judges such as Robert Penn Warren, Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Atwood, Russell Banks, Alice McDermott, and Frank Conroy have selected the best collections from the hundreds submitted annually by up-and-coming writers.

20 represents the best of the best—one story from each of the prize-winning volumes. Chosen by acclaimed author John Edgar Wideman, the selections cover a broad range of inventive and original characters, settings, and emotions, charting the evolution of the short story over the past two decades. One of the most prestigious awards of its kind, the Drue Heinz Literature Prize has helped launch the careers of a score of previously "undiscovered" writers, many of whom have gone on to great critical success.

Past Winners of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize: David Bosworth, Robley Wilson, Jonathan Penner, Randall Silvis, W. D. Wetherell, Rick DeMarinis, Ellen Hunnicutt, Reginald McKnight, Maya Sonenberg, Rick Hillis, Elizabeth Graver, Jane McCafferty, Stewart O’Nan, Jennifer Cornell, Geoffrey Becker, Edith Pearlman, Katherine Vaz, Barbara Croft, Lucy Honig, Adria Bernardi.


Click for more detail about Black Swan (Pitt Poetry Series) by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon Black Swan (Pitt Poetry Series)

by Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon
University of Pittsburgh Press (Nov 24, 2002)
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Winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Prize
Selected by Marilyn Nelson
Finalist, 2003 Paterson Poetry Prize

"Imagine Leda black?" begins Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon’s exciting new collection of poems. Mixing vernacular language with classical mythology, modern struggles with Biblical trials, she gives voice to silenced women past and present.

In Van Clief-Stefanon’s powerful voice, last night’s angry words "puffed / into the dark room like steam / punching through the thick surface / of cooking grits." She remembers a child’s innocence "lost / in the house where I learned the red rug / against my chest, my knees / my tongue, . . . ." Black Swan is filled with pain, loss, hope, and the promise of salvation.

Book Review

Click for more detail about The Water Between Us by Shara McCallum The Water Between Us

by Shara McCallum
University of Pittsburgh Press (Sep 23, 1999)
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1998 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize winner.

The Water Between Us is a poetic examination of cultural fragmentation, and the exile’s struggle to reconcile the disparate and often conflicting influences of the homeland and the adopted country. The book also centers on other kinds of physical and emotional distances: those between mothers and daughters, those created by being of mixed racial descent, and those between colonizers and the colonized. Despite these distances, or perhaps because of them, the poems affirm the need for a multilayered and cohesive sense of self. McCallum’s language is precise and graceful. Drawing from Anancy tales, Greek myth, and biblical stories, the poems deftly alternate between American English and Jamaican patois, and between images both familiar and surreal.


Click for more detail about Tender by Toi Derricotte Tender

by Toi Derricotte
University of Pittsburgh Press (Aug 14, 1997)
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Toi Derricotte’s fourth collection of poetry. Tender† probes sexuality, spirituality, emotion, child abuse, mother hatred, and the physical and psychological ravages of violence. These poems are raw and upsetting in subject matter, yet extremely readable.


Click for more detail about Classic Plays From The Negro Ensemble Company by Harrison/Edwards Classic Plays From The Negro Ensemble Company

by Harrison/Edwards
University of Pittsburgh Press (Oct 12, 1995)
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This anthology celebrates more than twenty-five years of the Negro† Ensemble Company’s significant contribution to American theater.† Collected here are ten plays most representative of the eclectic nature of the Negro Ensemble Company repertoire.The Negro Ensemble Company (NEC) was formed in New York City in 1967 with support from the Ford Foundation to aid in the establishment of an independent African-American theater institution.† Under the artistic directorship of Douglas Turner Ward, the NEC offered a nurturing environment to black playwrights and actors who could work autonomously, guaranteeing authenticity of voice, full freedom of expression, and exploration of thematic views specific to the African-American experience.Since its inception, the NEC has introduced audiences to more than 150 theatrical works.† Classic Plays from the Negro Ensemble Company allows scholars to review a diversity of styles which share common philosophical, mythic, and social ideals that can be traced to an African worldview.† A foreword by Douglas Turner Ward and an afterword by Paul Carter Harrison and Gus Edwards assess the literary and/or stylistic significance of the plays and place each work in its historical or chronological context.


Click for more detail about Timber and Prayer: The Indian Pond Poems (Pitt Poetry Series) by Afaa Michael Weaver Timber and Prayer: The Indian Pond Poems (Pitt Poetry Series)

by Afaa Michael Weaver
University of Pittsburgh Press (Apr 15, 1995)
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"Weaver’s life studies and lyrics are imbued with a vivid sense of language, a vivid sense of the world, a vivid sense of their inseparability. And his tonal range—from unabashed passion to the subtlest velleity—is impressive indeed. This is a singular talent."—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.


Click for more detail about The Homewood Books by John Edgar Wideman The Homewood Books

by John Edgar Wideman
University of Pittsburgh Press (Mar 26, 1992)
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Edgar Wideman’s The Homewood Books† is so named because they share characters, events, and locales, these two novels— Hiding Place and Sent for You Yesterday — and one collection of short stories —Damballah— are set in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh, where Wideman was raised.As Wideman writes in his introduction to this edition, the three books “offer a continuous investigation, from many angles, not so much of a physical location, Homewood, . . . but of a culture, a way of seeing and being seen.”† Three voices and three perspectives dominate the story narrated in Hiding Place: Bess, who has lost a son to the war, living a hermetic existence of Bruston Hill; tommy, who is fleeing the police for a murder charge he is not guilty of; and Clement, a simple boy who makes deliveries to Bess’s house.Damballah is a powerful collection of interrelated stories spanning a century in Homewood.† The tales celebrate a community of people who, in the face of crisis, need, and fear, uphold each other through grace, courage, and dignity.Winner of the 1984 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction and named as one of the fifteen best books of 1983 by the New York Times Book Review, Sent for You Yesterday traces, through its narrator, Doot, the intertwining lives through time of the inhabitants of Homewood— Lucy, Brother Tate, Albert Wilkes, Carl French, and their ancestors and offspring—- from the blues-oriented 1920s to the drug-influenced 1970s.


Click for more detail about Captivity by Toi Derricotte Captivity

by Toi Derricotte
University of Pittsburgh Press (Dec 19, 1989)
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What are the forces that cause us to strike out and harm each other?  Captivity explores the way in which the individual is held hostage by society; how the forces of racism, sexism, and classism frequently express themselves as violence within the family.  The book also explores a deeper captivity, like the Jews in Egypt yearning for the Promised Land, the soul trapped in exile from God.


Click for more detail about The Essential Etheridge Knight (Pitt Poetry Series) by Etheridge Knight The Essential Etheridge Knight (Pitt Poetry Series)

by Etheridge Knight
University of Pittsburgh Press (Dec 05, 1986)
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Book annotation not available for this title.
Title: The Essential Etheridge Knight
Author: Knight, Etheridge
Univ of Pittsburgh Pr
1986/12/05
Number of
Binding Type: PAPERBACK
Library of Congress: 86006989




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