The Poetry of Slavery is the first book to collect the most important works of poetry generated by English and North American slavery. Mixing poetry by the major Anglo-American Romantic poets (Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Whittier, ...
Longfellow, Lowell, Whitman, Melville, Dickinson) with curious, and sometimes brilliant verse by a range of now forgotten literary figures, the anthology is designed to aid students and teachers address the Anglo-American cultural inheritance of slavery. The anthology is also distinguished by its formal variety: abolition publicity in general, and poetry in particular, drew on new publishing modes which became available. Consequently the poems come from a publishing base which takes in handbills, broadsides, print satire, song sheet, and chap book songsters, illustrated adult and children's books, children's toys, novels, slave testimony and narrative, and private manuscripts as well as the expected published volumes of verse. This is a body of work created on two continents by women and men, blacks and whites, slaves, ex-slaves and freemen and women; it is a body of work which is as relevant to the developing memory of slavery now, as it was when it was written.