In this book the editors present the definitive collection of black vrese in the United States - from the neoclassical stylings of slave-born Phillis Wheatly to the postmodern artistry of Yusef Komunyakaa. Here is the oracular vision of Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott, the laintive rhapsodies of an imprisoned Etheridge Knight. Here, too, is a landmark exploration of lesser-known artists - including perhaps the tradition's most accomplished practitioner, Sterling A. Brown - whose efforts birthed the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts movements - and changed forever not only our national literature but the course of America itself. Meticulously researched, thoughtfully structured, The Vintage Book of African American Poetry is a collection of inestimable value to all those interested in the ever-evolving tradition that is American poetry.