Every Shut Eye Ain't Asleep is a rich collection of the work of post-World War II African-American poets. It brings together the voices of the most important African-American poets of our time, beginning with the highly influential Robert Hayden and Gwendolyn Brooks, and covers an astonishing range of styles and techniques.
This extraordinary body of poetry is the flowering of an artistic tradition established earlier in this century by Paul Laurence Dunbar, Countee Cullen, and Langston Hughes. The newer work comprises many different visions, ranging from the chiseled and layered modernism of Jay Wright to the plainspoken ferocity of Sonia Sanchez, from the dazzling witticisms of Ishmael Reed to the plangent lyricism of Rita Dove. Edited by the distinguished poet Michael Harper and his star student and colleague Anthony Walton, this notable collection of work will be the standard anthology in the field for years to come.