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  • An Annotated Bibliography of the Works of Sterling A. Brown *
  • Robert G. O’Meally (bio)

Sterling A. Brown is a distinguished writer whose poems, short stories, reviews, and scholarly works have appeared for nearly more than fifty years. His poetry reflects the innovative impulse of contemporary verse as well as the toughness, humor, and protest of black American folklore. His reportorial narratives and sketches of the Southern scene are alive with black talk, and they convey vividly the terror and the irony of “living Jim Crow” during the 1940s. Brown has studied the role of blacks in American folklore, literature, and music since the New Negro Renaissance period. His work also has provided perspective to New New Negroes, including Black Aesthetic writers of the 1960s and 1970s.

This annotated bibliography, arranged according to subject and date of publication, is designed to assist readers in locating Brown’s works, many of which are uncollected or out of print.

For assisting me in tracking down materials, I am indebted to Cornelia Stokes and Ahmos Zu-Bolton at Founder’s Library, Howard University. For help in revising this work for 1998, many thanks go to J. Edgar Tidwell. Special thanks go, forever, to Sterling A. Brown, teacher, hero, friend.

I. Poems

A. Poems included in Southern Road, but published previously:

“For a Certain Youngster.” The Oracle, 3.1 (March, 1925), p. 33.

An experiment using the Italian sonnet form.

“Vignette: from Virginia Woods.” The Oracle, 5.1 (1926), p. 14.

Later revised for the planned volume, No Hiding Place; included in The Collected Poems as “Coolwell Vignette (From Virginia Woods).”

“Challenge,” “Odyssey of Big Boy,” “Return,” “Salutamus,” “To a Certain Lady, in Her Garden.” Caroling Dusk. Ed. Countee Cullen. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1927, pp. 130–39. [End Page 822]

“Foreclosure.” Ebony and Topaz: A Collectanea. Ed. Charles S. Johnson. New York: Opportunity, 1927, p. 36.

“Old Man Buzzard.” The Carolina Magazine, 58 (May, 1927), p. 25–26.

“When de Saints Go Ma’ching Home.” Opportunity, Journal of Negro Life, 5 (July, 1927), p. 48. (Hereafter, Opportunity, Journal of Negro Life will be cited as Opportunity.)

This poem won the Opportunity poetry prize for 1927.

“Thoughts of Death.” Opportunity, 6 (August 6, 1928), p. 242.

“Long Gone.” Anthology of Negro American Literature. Ed. V.F. Calverton. New York: Modern Library, 1929, pp. 209–10.

“Riverbank Blues.” Opportunity, 7 (May, 1929), p. 148.

“Effie.” Opportunity, 7 (October, 1929), p. 304.

“Dark of the Moon,” “Ma Rainey,” “Southern Road.” Folk-Say, a Regional Miscellany, 2. Ed. Benjamin A. Botkin. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1930, pp. 275–79.

“Kentucky Blues.” Palms, 7.2 (March, 1930), p. 115.

“Memphis Blues,” “Slim Greer,” “Strong Men.” The Book of American Negro Poetry. Ed. James Weldon Johnson. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1931, pp. 248–66.

“Convict,” “New St. Louis Blues,” “Old King Cotton,” “Pardners,” “Revelations,” “Slow Coon” (later published as “Slim Lands a Job”), “Tin Roof Blues.” Folk-Say, a Regional Miscellany, 3. Ed. Benjamin A. Botkin. Norman, Oklahoma: Oklahoma Folklore Society, 1931, pp. 113–23.

B. Southern Road. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1932

Brown’s first book of poems.

C. Poems not in Southern Road:

“After the Storm.” The Crisis, a Record of the Darker Races, 34 (April, 1927), p. 48. (Hereafter The Crisis, a Record of the Darker Races will be cited as The Crisis.)

“A Bad, Bad Man,” “Call Boy,” “Long Track Blues,” “Puttin’ on Dog,” “Rent Day Blues,” “Slim in Hell.” Folk-Say, 4. Ed. Benjamin A. Botkin. Norman, Oklahoma: Oklahoma Folklore Society, 1932, pp. 249–56.

“He Was a Man.” Opportunity, 10 (June, 1932), p. 179.

“Let Us Suppose.” Opportunity, 13 (September, 1935), p. 281.

“Southern Cop,” “Transfer.” Partisan Review, 3 (October, 1936), p. 220–21.

“Master and Man.” New Republic, 89 (November 18, 1936), p. 66.

“All Are Gay.” American Stuff. New York: Viking Press, 1937, pp. 79–81.

“Break of Day.” New Republic, 85 (May 11, 1938), p. 10.

“The Young Ones.” Poetry, 3 (July, 1938), pp. 189–90.

“Glory, Glory.” Esquire, 10 (August, 1938), p. 78.

“Colloquy (Black Worker and White Worker),” “Conjured,” “Old Lem.” This Generation. Ed. George Anderson and Eda L. Walton. New York: Scott, Foresman, 1939...

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