Cover image for This is my century : new and collected poems
This is my century : new and collected poems
Walker, Margaret, 1915-1998.
Publication Information:
Athens, Ga. : University of Georgia Press, [1989]

Physical Description:
209 pages ; 22 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3545.A517 T47 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Margaret Walker became the first African American to win a national literary award when her collection For My People was chosen for the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 1942. Over the next fifty years she enriched American literature in endless ways through her writings and, in 1993, she received the National Book Award for Lifetime Achievement.

This Is My Century is Walker's own defining summation of her career. Selected by the author herself, the one hundred poems include thirty-seven previously uncollected pieces and the entire contents of three hard-to-find volumes: the award-winning For My People (1942), Prophets for a New Day (1970), and October Journey (1975).

Author Notes

Margaret Walker wrote poetry, essays, the novel Jubilee, and the biography Richard Wright: Daemonic Genius. she created pioneering programs in the humanities and African American studies at Jackson State University, where she was a faculty member for almost three decades.

(Bowker Author Biography) Margaret Walker lectures on Renaissance art and reviews books for Burlington Magazine.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Distinguished black poet Margaret Walker has, indeed, a claim to the century, for she has lived through most of it. She is a link to many of the most important figures in African American culture: she studied with W. E. B. Dubois, worked for the WPA Writers Project with Richard Wright, talked poetry with Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen, was Medgar Evers' neighbor on the street where he was assassinated. Always immediate but classic in voice, her poetry has a timeless quality, as illustrated in her renowned sonnet to Malcolm X, which begins with an address to militants: "All you violated ones with gentle hearts; / You violent dreamers whose cries shout heartbreak." If younger poets have ranged farther in voice and content, it is because they stand high on the shoulders of giants such as Margaret Walker. This is a book that belongs in all public library poetry collections. --Pat Monaghan

Library Journal Review

From the opening lines of For My People (winner of the 1942 Yale Younger Poets award) to the last of a recently written group of poems titled ``Farish Street,'' Walker writes with a strength and clarity that befits her large vision of American and African American history. She assumes the role of spokesperson and in the service of that role employs a multitude of techniques and inspirations: folklore, scriptural rhythms, ballad meter, sonnet forms, the Egyptian deities, political rhetoric. In planting her ``seeds of dreams and visions and prophecies . . . fantasies of freedom and of pride,'' the poet weaves personal memories and experiences within the larger fabric of racial identity, thereby enriching it.-- Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.