Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

James A. Emanuel’s first book was written in prose, not poetry. His book Langston Hughes (1967) was one of the first detailed studies of Hughes’s work. Unsatisfied with the scant critical attention given to black authors, Emanuel worked with Theodore L. Gross and edited Dark Symphony: Negro Literature in America (1968), the first book of its kind in nearly thirty years. A few years later, in 1972, he collaborated on another book, How I Write Two, this time with MacKinlay Kantor and Lawrence Osgood. How I Write Two explores the writing processes of several black poets, including Emanuel, Sonia Sanchez, and Gwendolyn Brooks. He served as general editor of the Broadside Critics series from 1970 to 1975. He has written a memoir, The Force and the Reckoning (2001), complete with poems and photos. Many of Emanuel’s literary essays and book reviews appeared in books, periodicals, and journals.