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From the editor-in-chief.

Creativity is so powerful that you can't give it up." These words, spoken by Alice Walker in her interview with BIBR, describe the long are of important work by the two major poets I am proud to include in this issue--Amiri Baraka and, of course, Walker. Each has more than three decades of published work, and these luminaries of black verse are both still creating new poetry. These elder poets make our fifth annual poetry issue a feast of experience and experiment, with both elements often dazzlingly discovered in the same work. Baraka (page 22) and Walker (page 34) have made strong albeit different poetic statements responding to the 9/11 tragedy, and we're proud that each has agreed to share with BIBR's readers off-the-stanza remarks about their recent work.

We also hold to the truism regarding the old and new: one is silver and the other is gold, so we've included reviews of new poets (page 28). Our desire is that you may one day recall their first efforts with the same sighs of satisfaction that our senior staff recalls our initial readings of Revolutionary Petunias and Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note a lifetime ago when these volumes were first published.

Walker's profound words also describe the artistic impulse in generation after generation of black writers. That powerful creativity has now produced innovators in genres heretofore inaccessible to us, specifically travel. Suzanne Rust has assembled an incredible array of African-descended authors charting new ground in literary travel writing (page 48). Far from tour guides, well-known writers like Edwidge Danticat, as well as dynamic new voices, richly portray the varied cultures of the Diaspora and other parts of the world, revealing their inner experiences being black strangers in strange lands. Armchair travelers and adventurers alike will be enchanted with the range of writing in this newly charted territory for black authors.

Anyone who loves children's books will not want to bypass our tribute to Virginia Hamilton (page 71). Zeely was a life-changing story for so many young readers, as well as for the parents, older readers and librarians who savored the child in ourselves through this now-classic but, at the time, groundbreaking work. We sorely miss Virginia.

Your favorite departments--including Self-Publishing and Books-N-Clubs--are here, as we at BIBR remain committed to being the book lover's guide to black books.

Enjoy!
William E. Cox
President/Editor-in-Chief
COPYRIGHT 2003 Cox, Matthews & Associates
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Cox, William E.
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Mar 1, 2003
Words:397
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