Sanders, Mark A. 1963-
SANDERS, Mark A. 1963-
Born 1963. Education: Brown University, Ph.D.
Office—Department of African American Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322. E-mail—[email protected].
Author and professor. Emory University, Atlanta, GA, associate professor of English and director of program of African-American studies.
(Editor with J. V. Brummels) On Common Ground: The Poetry of William Kloefkorn, Ted Kooser, Greg Kuzma, and Don Welch, Sandhills (Ord, NE), 1983.
Before We Lost Our Ways, Hurakan Press (Texas City, TX), 1996.
(Editor and author of foreword) Sterling Allen Brown, A Son's Return: Selected Essays of Sterling A. Brown, Northeastern University Press (Boston, MA), 1996.
Afro-Modernist Aesthetics and the Poetry of Sterling A. Brown, University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 1999.
In his foreword to A Son's Return: Selected Essays of Sterling A. Brown, Mark A. Sanders explains that the collection of reviews, essays, and lectures present in the book provides an introduction to the life and work of Brown, a renowned African-American poet, folklorist, and literary critic. Brown's work has been deemed essential for an accurate understanding of early twentieth-century African-American art and politics; indeed, he is often referred to as the "Dean of American Negro Poets."
In a Publishers Weekly review, Maria Simpson commented that, upon his death in 1989, Brown left behind a "legacy of criticism for which modern commentators of African American culture should remain eternally grateful." She complimented Sanders for the collection presented in A Son's Return, which she saw as the "most representative of [Brown's] work on literature, history, folklore and music" and also stated that the book "underscores Brown's weakness as a critic." In his review for Library Journal, Charles L. Lumpkins wrote that the sixteen essays selected by Sanders for the book "present a tantalizing sampler …that leaves the reader wishing for a complete collection of the writer's publications."
In Afro-Modernist Aesthetics and the Poetry of Sterling A. Brown, Sanders closely examines the historical context of Brown's three collections of poetry and traces the manner in which the poet called for a revisionist perspective of the Harlem Renaissance, black identity, and artistic expression. In his review for the Mississippi Quarterly, literary critic William J. Maxwell wrote: "Sanders complements and challenges black vernacular literary theory with recent revisionist histories of an internally riven aesthetic modernism, for his book aims to demonstrate how Brown's verse reshapes grand, temporally sweeping concerns [about] 'black being' and the 'prevailing discourses defining American culture'—in the sometimes brutally fractured historical context of modernist culture." Concluding his lengthy review, Maxwell wrote: "'Fundamentally,' Brown once said …'I'm a teacher. I took teaching seriously. I got the papers back to the people.… Sometimes I was called the red ink man.' Despite the mental red ink inspired by Sanders's uneven account of Brown's historical attachments and circumstances, the fluent readings of Afro-Modernist Aesthetics will help to elevate the teaching of a remarkable poet nearer to his own high pedagogic standard.… Sanders's book is vital equipment for grasping the post-modernist meaning of perhaps the least-known most important American poet."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, September 15, 1996, Charles L. Lumpkins, review of A Son's Return: Selected Essays of Sterling A. Brown, p. 68.
Melus, winter, 1998, D. K. Campbell, review of A Son's Return, pp. 196-199.
Mississippi Quarterly, spring, 2000, William J. Maxwell, review of Afro-Modernist Aesthetics and the Poetry of Sterling A. Brown, pp. 301-306.
Publishers Weekly, October 7, 1996, Maria Simpson, review of A Son's Return, p. 67.
Western American Literature, winter, 1985, James R. Saucerman, review of On Common Ground: The Poetry of William Kloefkorn, Ted Kooser, Greg Kuzma, and Don Welch, pp. 326-327; fall, 1998, Shaun T. Griffin, review of Before We Lost Our Ways, p. 307.
Emory University Web site,http://www.emory.edu/ (November 17, 2003), profile of Mark A. Sanders.*