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jazz poetry


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A genre presaged in the USA by Vachel Lindsay (1879–1931) with his incantatory ballads, ‘General William Booth’ (1913), ‘The Congo’ (1914), The Daniel Jazz (1920), etc.; and then by Langston Hughes (1902–67), who was probably the first to pitch his verse in conjunction with musicians in the late 1930s. The fusion was developed in the 1950s by Kenneth Patchen (1911–72), Kenneth Rexroth (1905–82), Amiri Baraka (adopted name of black militant writer Everett Le Roi Jones, 1934– ), and the poets of the American Beat Generation; and in Britain from the mid‐1950s to the 1980s by C. Logue, Roy Fisher (1930– ), M. Horovitz, Pete Brown (1940– ), Spike Hawkins (1942– ), and others. Various permutations of primarily non‐academic, often regional, entertainers and singer‐songwriters have proliferated since, with the punk‐rock, post‐punk, and ‘new wave’ voices of John Cooper Clarke, Paul Weller of The Jam, and the Rastafarian and reggae‐cadenced contributions of Anglo‐Jamaican poets such as James Berry, E. K. Brathwaite, L. K. Johnson, and Zephaniah. See also Underground Poetry.

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards).


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