All Announcements

Celebrating 10 Years of “Night’s Dancer” by Yaël Tamar Lewin

September 13, 2021, marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of Night’s Dancer: The Life of Janet Collins, by dance scholar Yaël Tamar Lewin, referred to as a “must-read” by Charmaine Warren in her Amsterdam News review. It chronicles the life of an extraordinary and elusive woman, who became a unique concert dance soloist as well as a trailblazer in the white world of classical ballet—the first African-American prima ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera.

The book opens with Collins’s unfinished memoir, which gives a captivating account of her childhood and young adult years, including her rejection by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo—based on Collins’s refusal to whiten her face. Lewin then picks up the thread of Collins’s story, drawing on extensive research and interviews to explore Collins’s development as a dancer, choreographer, and painter, giving us a profoundly moving portrait of an artist of indomitable spirit in an era in which racial bias prevailed. The book contains 65 illustrations, including 49 photographs as well as 16 color plates of Collins and her visual artwork.

Winner of the Marfield Prize, the National Award for Arts Writing, from the Arts Club of Washington, Night’s Dancer reveals that Collins’s brilliant performances transformed how African-American dancers were perceived in the world of ballet, making way for future ballet dancers of color. The 70th anniversary of her historic debut at the Metropolitan Opera will be celebrated on November 13, 2021.

Yaël Tamar Lewin is a dance historian, writer, and dancer living in New York City.

Praise for Night’s Dancer

Night’s Dancer: The Life of Janet Collins is an enthralling read. It reinforces Collins’s struggle, personal strength and ultimate success. While following her dreams with endless energy, she leapt over boundaries.”
—Karen Barr, Dance International

“Much of Collins’s career is lost in the gaps of performance history, and Lewin has done wonders to restore to the record the work of this pioneering woman, as well as printing Collins’s forty-odd pages of reminiscences for the first time… Night’s Dancer is a fine contribution both to dance history and the history of segregation in the United States.”
—Judith Flanders, Times Literary Supplement

“With Night’s Dancer, Lewin has produced a major work that continues to correct the absence of historical writing on African Americans in ballet and modern dance. The author incorporates Collins’s own writings, intimate details from the artist’s life, and rich contextual material to create a work that is emotionally touching and incredibly informative.”
—John O. Perpener III, author of African-American Concert Dance: The Harlem Renaissance and Beyond

“Blessed with extraordinary gifts for dance and painting, Janet Collins broke barriers as the first African-American prima ballerina at the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera. Her life’s journey is inspirational. History should recognize her as one of its pioneers. Janet Collins was truly one of earth’s angels.”
—Arthur Mitchell, co-founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem

“Psychologists, sociologists, historians, painters, dancers, choreographers—here is your book! This is a careful, objective, revealing study of a complex and enigmatic person. Collins was richly blessed with creative talents and deeply drawn to a spiritual life. Night’s Dancer explores her struggle to fulfill and be fulfilled. A scholarly, beautiful, important work, and long overdue.”
—Raven Wilkinson, first African-American dancer with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo

Announcing “The Past”

“Xu’s lyricism and near-painterly control of the line are breathtaking. The Past shows us how the natural world tells of a shared history and language long after the traumas of revolution and immigration. These poems push outward at all of the seams.”—Wendy S. Walters, author of Multiply/Divide: On the American Real and Surreal

“Wendy Xu’s The Past embodies what James Baldwin said about poets, that they must excavate and recreate history. In her brilliant confrontations with the past, Xu is cultivating, caring for, and ultimately transforming the consciousness and the subconscious ground of poetry’s faithful yet fearless engagement with history, out of which descendant generations will approach and appraise, by the profound permission of her example, their own cultural and familial histories, and therefore all of our futures.”—Brandon Shimoda, author of The Grave on the Wall


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The poems in Wendy Xu’s third collection, The Past, fantasize uneasily about becoming a palatable lyric record of their namesake, while ultimately working to disrupt this Westernized desire. Who is “the past” for, after all, and what does it allow? Both sorrow and joy are found in these poems, knit into the silences and slippery untrustworthinesses of the English language.

Born in Shandong, China, in 1987, Wendy Xu immigrated to the United States in 1989, three days ahead of the events of Tian’anmen Square on June 4th—the poems of The Past partly concern the emotional reverberations of this annual double-anniversary, the place at which “the past” forked, over thirty years ago, putting the author on a path to the United States. The Past probes the multi-generational binds of family, displacement, the illness and passing of the author’s uncle and maternal grandfather in 2018, and immigration as an ongoing psychic experience without end. Moving spontaneously between lyric, fragment, prose, and subversions in “traditional” Chinese forms, the book culminates in a centerpiece series of “Tian’anmen Square sonnets” (and their subsequent erasures), an original form built from iterations of 6 and 4 in order to evade algorithmic censorship of references to June 4, 1989. Using form as inquiry, The Past conjures up the irrepressible past and ultimately imagines a new kind of poem: at once code and confession.


It’s the inside which
comes out, as I contemplate
him there half
in sunlight, weeding diligently
a Midwestern lawn.
On my persons, I have
only notes
and a drying pen,
the memory
of onion blossoms
in a window.
Reflection is my native
medium. I am never
arriving, only speaking
briefly on material
conditions between myself
and others. My country
me lovingly, over time.
My country grasps me
like desire.
I will show you
my credentials, which is
to say my vivid description
if you ask.
Here we are, my father
and I, never hostile,
a small offering: pointless
cut flowers appear
on the kitchen table
when one
finally arrives
into disposable income.
Still possible.
Am I living? Do I
accept revision
as my godhead
and savior? I do
and I am, in the name
of my Chinese father now
dragging the tools
back inside, brow
shining but always
a grin, faithless
except to protect whatever
I still have time
to become,


WENDY XU (Brooklyn, NY) is the author of Phrasis, named one of the 10 Best Poetry Books of 2017 by the New York Times Book Review. She teaches writing at the New School, and serves as poetry editor for the arts magazine Hyperallergic.

Announcing “Darby Chronicles”

Cover-Dogs of War


Wesleyan is pleased to announce we are releasing new editions of Ernest Hebert’s collection of novels known as the Darby Chronicles. The Chronicles include seven books that cover 35 years in the life of a small New England town as seen through the eyes of three families—the Elmans, the Salmons, and the Jordans—each representing a distinct social class. It all starts with The Dogs of March, cited for literary excellence in a first novel in 1980 by the Earnest Hemingway Foundation (now the PEN / Faulkner Foundation).

“For more than a decade Ernest Hebert has been shaping with relatively scant fanfare one of the most interesting accomplishments of contemporary American fiction —a seven-volume cycle about Darby, a southern New Hampshire hill town, into which the texture of class is as skillfully woven as it is in Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County.” –Boston Globe

The Dogs of March ($24.95 Paperback, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2”, 9780819579980; $19.99 Ebook, 9780819580566)
The Dogs of March was first published by Viking Press in 1979, when Herbert was working as a journalist for several publications, including The Keene Sentinel Newspaper and The Boston Globe. It follows the life and times of Howard Elman, a man whose internal landscape is as disordered as his front yard, where New Hampshire birches and maples mingle with a bullet-riddled washer, abandoned bathroom fixtures, and several junk cars. Howard—a man who is both tough and tender—often finds himself battling the encroaching change that symbolizes the class conflict between gritty Granite Staters and those who are moving in from away, with their fancy “college degrees and big bank accounts.” Like the winter-weakened deer threatened by the dogs of March—the normally docile house pets whos instincts areouse them to chase and kill for sport—Howard, too, is sorely beset.

“The book rises or falls on the strength of Howard Elman, and this man could hold up a house. By turns tormented, funny, poignant and appalling, he lodges in the memory—and successfully launches the career of Ernest Hebert.” —New York Times Book Review

A Little More than Kin ($24.95Paperback, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2”, 9780819580009; $19.99 Ebook, 9780819580573)
A Little More than Kin is action-packed follow up to The Dogs of March. It explores the human psyche at its most perverse, following Ollie Jordan, a man with no education, no mentors, and a serious Freudian hang-up. A family history of poverty, stubborn pride, and adherence to a culture of “succor and ascendancy” have robbed Ollie and his family of opportunity and hope. When Ollie is evicted from his shack, he breaks his drinking rules and heads out into the wilderness with his disabled son, Willow, literally chained to him. Father and son are doomed, and Hebert gives his rural underclass protagonist the depths of a tragic hero.

“A lively, absorbing, dourly funny, ultimately moving novel.”  —Atlantic Monthly

Whisper My Name ($24.95Paperback, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2”, 9780819579997 ; $19.99 Ebook, 9780819580580)
The institution of Town Meeting, the beauty of the forested landscape, and the enduring qualities of the architecture are considered important elements to the identities of those residing in New England towns. This premise is put on trial—and to a vote—in Whisper My Name, the third novel in Hebert’s Darby Chronicles. The story unfolds as seen through the eyes of three men: the reporter Roland LaChance, the farmer Avalon Hillary, and the founder of a land trust—Raphael “Reggie” Salmon. Magnus Mall, a national corporation, wants to buy the Hillary farm and transform the property into a mall to serve western New Hampshire and eastern Vermont. The aging Hillary is torn between the traditions of his family and “the thought of the money.” LaChance is not only chasing down leads in his reportage on the mall—he’s chasing down the story behind his own origins. Along the way he falls in love with Sheila “Soapy” Rayno, an aphasic girl whose origins are equally mysterious. As usual, the Jordan clan plays a pivotal role in this rousing tale of greed, power, and lust.

“A splendidly imagined cycle.” —New York Times Book Review

The Passion of Estelle Jordan ($24.95 Paperback, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2”, 9780819580023 ; $19.99 Ebook, 9780819580597)
A major character in earlier Darby novels, Estelle takes center stage in The Passion of Estelle Jordan. Presently she is sliding into late middle age, drawn to two lovers who could not be more different: the widowed farmer Avalon Hillary and a mysterious young punk Estelle calls Trans Am in honor of the car he drives. The Passion of Estelle Jordan, like that of Christ, is rife with sin, suffering, sacrifice, and perhaps redemption.

“Masterfully, hauntingly done from beginning to end.” —Washington Post Book World

Live Free or Die ($24.95 Paperback, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2”, 9780819580030; $19.99 Ebook, 9780819580603)
The struggle between the rural working class and the upper crust of Darby intensifies in Live Free or Die, considered the turning-point novel of the Darby Chronicles. Freddy Elman, son of the town trash collector, and Lilith Salmon, daughter of a prestigious family, embark on an ill-fated love affair. The young lovers’ attempt to bridge the chasm that divides their class-alienated families inevitably collapses. Seeing Darby through new eyes, Freddy comes to realize that “the kind of people who hunkered down among these tree-infested, rock-strewn hills” are “dying out, replaced by people with money, education, culture, people ‘wise in the ways of the world.'” Named a “Notable Book of the Year” by The New York Times Book Review.

“[A] vigorous saga . . . One is reminded of William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County or Robertson Davies’ Deptford.” —New York Times Book Review

Spoonwood ($24.95 Paperback, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2”, 9780819580047; $19.99 Ebook, 9780819580610)
, the sixth book of the Darby Chronicles, finds Freddie Elman consumed by grief and anger and struggling with alcoholism. He is ill-prepared to father his newborn, Birch, with his wife Lilith. But as both his family and Lilith’s begin to maneuver for custody of the child, Freddie embarks on a course of action that satisfies none of them. Hebert masterfully conveys the natural and social landscape of contemporary rural New England. Grounded in complex, fully realized characters, Spoonwood offers Hebert’s most optimistic vision yet of acceptance and accommodation across class lines.

“The American dream goes belly-up in this brilliant, sensitive, and funny account of what it’s like to be a disposable New England mill worker in the post-industrial economy.” —Mother Jones

Howard Elman’s Farewell ($24.95 Paperback, 8-1/2 x 5-1/2”, 9780819580016 ; $19.99 Ebook, 97808195806207)
Part Falstaff, part King Lear, but all American, Howard Elman was a fifty-something workingman when he burst onto the literary scene in The Dogs of March, the first novel of the Darby Chronicles. In the seventh installment, Howard Elman’s Farewell, the Darby constable is an eighty-something widower who wants to do “a great thing” before he motors off into the sunset. A coming of (old) age story that becomes a murder mystery, expands into family saga, and in the end might just follow Howard Elman into the spirit world.

“Hebert’s American saga, with its colorful characters and intriguing word play, is an enduring accomplishment.” —Publishers Weekly

ERNEST HEBERT resides in a pleasant town outside Keene, teaches English at Dartmouth College, and spends a good deal of time in the imaginary Darby, all three situated in New Hampshire. For more about author Ernest Hebert and the Darby Chronicles, go to

Announcing “The Blue Split Compartments”

“Through a wrenching psychoanalysis of the violence of aestheticization, Andrea Brady brings her intelligence and grief to the ways in which pastoral ethics implicate both drone attack and lyric poem. In a time of mediatized intimacy and shut borders, this work crucially undermines the authority of distances.”—Lisa Robertson, author of Nilling: Prose Essays

“Word by affecting word, image by terrifying image, these powerfully harrowing poems tell the story of modern imperial warfare, hellish technologies of death, and unacknowledged faraway victims.”  —Laleh Khalili, author of Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies

The Blue Split Compartments is a complex and powerful sequence of lyric poems exploring how the physically intimate relationships between military drone operators and their victims are mediated, not only through the technological interfaces of the screen and drone, but also through language and subjectivity. Drawing on chatroom logs, military policy manuals, pattern of life archives, and accounts by witnesses around the world, these poems document the consequences of the perpetual and ‘everywhere war’ conducted from remote airbases, where pilots in shipping containers surveil and destroy remote ‘objects’. Brady’s approach offers a sophisticated interplay of diction, rhetoric, syntax, positioning, allusion, and sonic quality that generates legible currents of meaning and orientation. Entire countries have been turned into ‘open air prisons’, where the buzzing of drones overhead induces profound trauma and changes to social life. These poems strafe a documentary history of drone warfare with personal memory, and reflections on the myths and mechanics of prosthetic violence, voyeurism, masculinity, and desire. The Blue Split Compartments is a bitter comedy in drone erotics, a devastating reach into the twisted soul of murderous techno-surveillance regimes, a linguistically virtuosic and deeply humane x-ray of the discursive and militaristic systems that join us in mutual dissolution. Check out a sample poem below:

from the poem entitled “Opened”, The Blue Split Compartments

This is the box, frozen against hierarchy
at a value of some $10m, simply a form of being;

surgeon’s box, patient’s wound,
an idea of enclosure that can fit any medium.

The gaze is on the side of things.

The angel of evil could not have done that.
A child is in heaven. The box is empty,

saying nothing but “construction.” It really is
like swatting flies; we can do it forever
easily and you feel nothing.

ANDREA BRADY is an American poet and lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. She is the author of seven books of poetry including The Strong Room and three books of criticism including Poetry and Bondage: A History and Theory of Lyric Constraint.

Celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride

Pride Month (June) commemorate the Stonewall Riots which took place in Greenwich Village in late June 1969. The Stonewall Riots were a series of spontaneous demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community in response to a police raid against the Stonewall Inn. When the police became violent, patrons of the Stonewall and members of the larger Village community fought back. Today, Stonewall is considered one of the most important events in the lead-up to the Gay Liberation Movement and the modern fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States.

To celebrate, we share with you a Wesleyan University Press Pride Reading List. These titles are by LGBTQ+ authors or detail an important aspect of LGBTQ+ history and culture. The LGBTQ+ community has made immense contributions and these texts are just one way in which we can see that influence. We are proud to support LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and stories—during June and always.

New and Forthcoming

Cover of Magnified by Minnie Bruce Pratt

Once in a blue moon, a love like this comes along….

“The poems in Magnified model a fearless relation with lost beloveds that is gorgeous, queer and fiercely alive. Minnie Bruce Pratt, who always writes verse with palpating radical breath, here ignites it with a vision for revolutionary afterlife.”
—Rachel Levitsky, author of The Story of My Accident Is Ours

Magnified is a collection of love poems drawing us into the sacred liminal space that surrounds death. With her beloved gravely ill, poet and activist Minnie Bruce Pratt turns to daily walks and writing to find a way to go on in a world where injustice brings so much loss and death. Each poem is a pocket lens “to swivel out and magnify” the beauty in “the little glints, insignificant” that catch her eye.


cover of Occasional Views Vol 1 by Samuel Delany

Essays and occasional writings from one of literature’s iconic voices

“By turns gutsy and erudite, challenging and gracious, Delany’s Occasional Views gives illuminating glances of his mind’s life journey. How lucky we are to have these proofs of the resonant truths he has discovered along the way!”
—Nisi Shawl, author of Everfair

Essays, lectures, and interviews address topics such as 9/11, race, the garden of Eden, the interplay of life and writing, and notes on other writers such as Theodore Sturgeon, Hart Crane, Ursula K. Le Guin, Hölderlin, and an introduction to—and a conversation with—Octavia E. Butler.


cover of Be Brave to Things: The Uncollected Poems and Plays of Jack Spicer

Indispensable volume of previously unavailable poetry by an American master

“Have you read a poet and suddenly feel the shoulders you stand on? Jack Spicer does this to many of us, and now there are more poems! Oh, more treasure! Magic is not a metaphor, and ‘Time does not finish a poem.’ Jack says, ‘Like a herd of reindeer / No one knows your heart.”

Includes major unfinished projects, early and alternate versions of well-known Spicer poems, shimmering stand-alone lyrics, and intricate extended “books” and serial poems. This new cache of Spicer material will be indispensable for any student of 20th century American poetry, proffering a trove of primary material for Spicer’s growing readership to savor and enjoy.

Recent & Backlist



Featured books:

Magnified by Minnie Bruce Pratt

Un-American by Hafizah Geter

bury it by sam sax

Music & Camp by Christopher Moore and Philip Purvis

Inquisition by Kazim Ali

Impossible Dance: Club Culture and Queer World-Making by Fiona Buckland

Occasional Views Volume 1: “More About Writing” and Other Essays by Samuel R Delany

My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer

Be Brave to Things: The Uncollected Poetry and Plays of Jack Spicer

How Reading Is Written: A Brief Index to Gertrude Stein by Astrid Lorange

Same-Sex Marriage: The Legal and Psychological Evolution in America by Donald J. Cantor, Elizabeth Cantor, James C. Black, and Campbell D. Barrett

Announcing “A Body in Fukushima” by Eiko Otake and William Johnston

“A Body in Fukushima” by Eiko Otake and William Johnston

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On March 11, 2011 the most powerful earthquakes in Japan’s recorded history devastated the north east of Japan, triggering a massive tsunami with waves as high as 130 feet and traveled as far as six miles inland. As a result, three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex experienced level seven meltdowns. The triple disaster, known as 3.11, had 15,899 confirmed deaths with 3529 people still missing. On five separate journeys, Japanese-born performer and dancer Eiko Otake and historian and photographer William Johnston, visited multiple locations across the Fukushima prefecture. The powerful photographs, selected from tens of thousands that Otake and Johnston created, document the irradiated landscape and how Eiko placed her lone body in those spaces. Each photograph is a performance across time and space, rewarding a viewer’s intent gaze. The book includes essays and commentary reflecting on art, disaster, grief, and violated dignity of an irradiated Fukushima.

“By placing my body in these places, I thought of the generations of people who used to live there. Now desolate, only time and wind continue to move.” —Eiko Otake

Born and raised in Japan and now a longtime New Yorker, EIKO OTAKE is a movement-based interdisciplinary artist. WILLIAM JOHNSTON grew up in Wyoming where he developed an interest in Japanese culture and Zen Buddhism; he is a photographer and historian at Wesleyan University.

Announcing “Occasional Views Volume 1: ‘More About Writing’ and Other Essays” by Samuel R. Delany

cover of Occasional Views Volume 1 by Samuel R Delany

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Samuel R. Delany is an acclaimed writer of literary theory, queer literature, and fiction. His “prismatic output is among the most significant, immense and innovative in American letters,” wrote the New York Times in 2019; “Delany’s books interweave science fiction with histories of race, sexuality, and control. In so doing, he gives readers fiction that reflects and explores the social truths of our world.” This anthology of essays, lectures, and interviews addresses topics such as 9/11, race, the garden of Eden, the interplay of life and writing, and notes on other writers such as Theodore Sturgeon, Hart Crane, Ursula K. Le Guin, Holderlin, and a note on—and a conversation with—Octavia Butler. The first of two volumes, this book gathers more than twenty-five pieces on films, poetry, and science fiction. These sharp, focused writings by a bestselling Black, gay author are filled with keen insights and observations on culture, language, and life.

“Occasional Views, Volume 1 is an incredibly generous entry point to Samuel R. Delany’s pioneering insights about the intersections of genre, race, sexuality, Science Fiction and what it means to live through and amongst those categories. As he states, ‘What we need is not so much radical writers as we need radical readers!’ This collection helps us satisfy that deeply necessary and timely cultural need.”
Louis Chude-Sokei, author of Floating In A Most Peculiar Way: A Memoir

“By turns gutsy and erudite, challenging and gracious, Delany’s _Occasional Views_ gives illuminating glances of his mind’s life journey.  How lucky we are to have these proofs of the resonant truths he has discovered along the way!”
Nisi Shawl, author of Everfair

SAMUEL R. DELANY (Philadelphia, PA) has won four Nebula awards and two Hugo awards. He is the author of more than 40 books, including Dhalgren and Times Square Red / Times Square Blue.

Alvin Lucier’s 90th Birthday Celebration

On Wednesday, May 13 at 8PM ET ISSUE is celebrating American composer Alvin Lucier’s 90th birthday! This stream will span 30 hours and feature 90 artists. Join “I Am Sitting in a Room: Alvin Lucier’s 90th Birthday Celebration here. 

Alvin Lucier is highly respected within the field of music for his innovative and creative ideas. As composer Steven Reich has noted, “Lucier’s work in live and taped electronic music has produced beautiful and influential results. I particularly admire ‘I am Sitting in a Room’ as a moving, personal taped speech piece, and ‘Music for Solo Performer’ as the first work with brain wave generated sounds.”

Lucier’s written and edited works includes three books published by Wesleyan University Press. Chambers: Scores by Alvin Lucier is a collection of his major works from 1965 to 1977, accompanied by interviews conducted by Douglas Simon. This book showcases the variety of sounds that Lucier uses in his compositions, pioneering the nature of music itself.

Music 109: Notes on Experimental Music offers insights into listening to “experimental” music. Designed as an introduction for all readers it is a popular course book, named for Lucier’s Music 109 course at Wesleyan University. It also a great book for any music lover looking to expand their listening horizons. Daniel Barbiaro of Avant Music News says, “Plain and direct-spoken and with an uncluttered prose style, Lucier easily blends analysis, anecdote and digression into a reader-friendly first-person account of some of the most interesting music to come out of the postwar period.” And in his review for Los Angeles Review of Books, David Mandl noted that “[f]or those already acquainted with this music, Lucier’s descriptions of how it came to be reveal details of discovery and development that a non-insider could never know.”

Eight Lectures on Experimental Music presents eight notable lectures presented at Wesleyan University between 1989 and 2002. Lecturers include Maryanne Amacher, Robert Ashley, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Steve Reich, James Tenney, Christian Wolff, and La Monte Young. The transcriptions in the book make these events accessible to a new generation of scholars. Tim Page, professor of music and journalism at the University of Southern California has high praise for Lucier’s work: “The composer Alvin Lucier makes inventive and absorbing music from anything he touches, whether a traditional instrument or an everyday sound whose qualities are rendered brand new. This important book brings Lucier together in discussion with several remarkable colleagues, permitting the reader a fresh understanding of the varied and chimerical musical languages that surround us.”


Phillis Wheatley’s Birthday

On May 8, we are celebrating Phillis Wheatley’s birthday. Phillis Wheatley was an African American poet who published books of poetry after being enslaved in America.

The Age of Phillis by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers is a book of poetry which imagines the life of Wheatley. Jeffers is a poet who examines a variety of topics in her work.

Karla Strand of Ms. magazine praises her work: “With her latest volume, award-winning poet Jeffers presents an arresting and meticulously researched collection of poems imagining the life of remarkable life and revolutionary work of Phillis Wheatley.”

The Age of Phillis is published by Wesleyan University Press and is available here. 

Celebrating Poetry Month? Consider poetry-in-translation!

When selecting your next poetry read, consider reading work in translation.  Welsleyan has a number of volumes of poetry in translation.

Aimé and Suzanne Césaire

The Complete Poetry of Aimé Césaire gathers all of Cesaire’s celebrated verse into one bilingual edition. The French portion is comprised of newly established first editions of Césaire’s poetic œuvre made available in French in 2014, edited by AJ Arnold and an international team of specialists. To prepare the English translations, the translators started afresh from this new French edition. These translations of the poet’s early work reveal a new understanding of Cesaire’s aesthetic and political trajectory.

AIMÉ CÉSAIRE (1913–2008) was best known as the co-creator (with Léopold Senghor) of the concept of négritude. CLAYTON ESHLEMAN (1935–2021) was emeritus professor of English at Eastern Michigan University and the foremost American translator of César Vallejo and Aimé Césaire. His translation work earned him a National Book Award and a Griffin Poetry Prize. A. JAMES ARNOLD is emeritus professor of French at the University of Virginia. He edited A History of Literature in the Caribbean and authored Modernism and Negritude: The Poetry and Poetics of Aimé Césaire.



César Vallejo

For the first time in English, readers can now evaluate the extraordinary breadth of César Vallejo’s diverse oeuvre that, in addition to poetry, includes magazine and newspaper articles, chronicles, political reports, fictions, plays, letters, and notebooks. Edited by the translator Joseph Mulligan, Selected Writings follows Vallejo down his many winding roads, from Santiago de Chuco in highland Peru, to the coastal cities of Trujillo and Lima, on to Paris, Madrid, Moscow, and Leningrad. This repeated border-crossing also plays out on the textual level, as Vallejo wrote across genres and, in many cases, created poetic space in extra-literary modes. Informed by a vast body of scholarly research this author’s writing puts forth a new representation of this essential figure of twentieth-century Latin American literature as an indispensable alternative to the European avant-garde. Compiling well-known versions with over eighty percent of the text presented in English translation for the first time, Selected Writings is both a trove of and tribute to Vallejo’s multifaceted work. Includes translations by the editor and Clayton Eshleman, Pierre Joris, Suzanne Jill Levine, Nicole Peyrafitte, Michael Lee Rattigan, William Rowe, Eliot Weinberger, and Jason Weiss.

CÉSAR VALLEJO (1892–1938) was born in the Peruvian Andes and, after publishing some of the most radical Latin American poetry of the twentieth century, moved to Europe, where he diversified his writing practice to encompass theater, fiction, and reportage. As an outspoken alternative to the European avant-garde, Vallejo stands as one of the most authentic and multifaceted creators to write in the Castilian language.

JOSEPH MULLIGAN is a professional translator and scholar. He has translated Against Professional Secrets by César Vallejo, The Antiquarian by Gustavo Faverón Patriau, and a selection of Sahrawi poetry included in Poems for the Millennium Volume IV: The University of California Book of North African Poetry. He lives in Rochester, New York.



Bold translations by Matt Reeck

Prix Goncourt winner Patrick Chamoiseau, hailed by Milan Kundera as “an heir of Joyce and Kafka,” is among the leading Francophone writers today. With most of his novels having appeared in English, this book opens a new window on his oeuvre. A moving poetic essay that bears witness to the forgotten history of the French penal colony in French Guiana, French Guiana—Memory Traces of the Penal Colony accompanied by more than sixty evocative color photographs by Rodolphe Hammadi and translated, here for the first time, deftly by Matt Reeck.

PATRICK CHAMOISEAU is an award-winning francophone author from Martinique. He is author of twelve novels, as well as several films and essays.

MATT REECK is the translator of five books and has won Fulbright, NEA, and PEN/Heim grants.

RODOLPHE HAMMADI is an award-winning French photojournalist, photographer, and sculptor.