During his lifetime, James Baldwin authored seven novels, as well as several plays and essay collections, many of which were published to wide-spread praise. Baldwin's novels and essays brought him respect as a public intellectual and admiration as a writer. However, Baldwin's earliest writing was in poetic form, and some argue that even Baldwin considered himself a poet first and foremost. One can see this inclination in the poetic rhythms of his prose. Nonetheless, his single book of poetry Jimmy's Blues, which was published in 1983 only a few short years before his death in 1987, never attracted the spotlight as much as his novels and non-fiction did. This collection will include the 19 poems from Jimmy's Blues as well as six poems from a limited edition book called Gypsy, of which only 325 copies were ever published. Baldwin is known for his relentless honesty and startlingly prophetic insights on issues of race, gender, class, and poverty, and he is just as enlightening and bold in his poetry. This collection will present and celebrate James Baldwin the poet and master of many literary forms.
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