Further Reading


Astley, Neil, edited by. (2002). Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times. New York: Miramax books/Hyperion. "An Atlas of the Difficult World," by Adrienne Rich., p. 321 (there are many other poems in this collection appropriate for this lesson)

Goldman, Paula, editor. (2006). Imagining Ourselves: Global Voices from a New Generation of Women. International Museum of Women in association with Novato, CA: New World Library. "If Women Ran Hip Hop," by Aya De León, p. 197; "Willing to Fight," by Ani DiFranco, p.206.

Meltzer, Milton, compiled by. (2003). Hour of Freedom: American History in Poetry. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press. "I Hear America Singing," by Walt Whitman, p. 27; "I, Too," by Langston Hughes, p. 45.

Murray, Joan, edited by. (2001). Poems to Live by in Uncertain Times. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. "America," by Claude McKay, p. 30

Nye, Naomi Shihab, selected by. (2004). Is This Forever, Or What: Poems and Painting from Texas. New York: Greenwillow Books. "an excerpt from Con Flama: A Performance Piece," by Sharon Bridgforth, p. 43.

*Nye, Naomi Shihab. (1995). Words Under the Words: Selected Poems. Portland, OR: Eighth Mountain Press. "Blood," p. 121.

Panzer, Norma, edited by.(1994). Celebrate America in Poetry and Art. National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. New York: Hyperion. "To Live in the Borderlands Means You," by Gloria Anzaldúa. p. 65. (this book also showcases the Whitman and Hughes poems above on pp.58 & 59 and has many poems that fit beautifully into this lesson.)

Sewell, Marilyn, editor. (1996). Claiming the Spirit Within: A Sourcebook of Woman's Poetry. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. "Can't Tell," by Nelly Wong, p. 276.

Recommended for In-class Use

Blum, Joshua; Holman, Bob, Pellington, Mark. (1996). The United States of Poetry. New York: Harry N. Abrams. A compendium that features "America singing," based on Walt Whitman's famous poem of the same title. The introduction to this useful book reads, "…In the waning days of the Second Millennium, in a time of madness and plague, it is extraordinary and heartening to begin to hear, through the noise of rhetoric-by-committee and the purpose of language-is-to-sell-something, the reemergence of the singular voice of the poem. Poetry, until recently considered an art all but extinct, is being reborn. No longer necessarily thought of as the dense and impenetrable domain of the elite, poetry is reentering our culture as something as familiar as a schoolyard rhyme, as exciting as the discovery that love can mean the same thing as two people. ….This is the first book of poems ever to be based on a television series." The book has a strong focus on Rap and Spoken Word. This is a singular and unique collection with which to tap into poetry and populism, and is highly recommended for this lesson!

"Let America Be America Again," by Langston Hughes in Forché, Carolyn, editor. (1993). Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness. New York: W.W. Norton.

Selections including "manifestos," from Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. (newest ed. 2007). Poetry As Insurgent Art. New York: New Directions Books.

Gillian, Maria G. and Gillian, Jennifer, editors. (1994). Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry. New York, Penguin.

Partridge, Elizabeth. (2002). This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie. New York: Viking.

Reed, Ishmael, editor. (2003). From Totems to Hip Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas, 1900-2002. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press.