Jupiter Hammon Further Reading - Essay

Further Reading

(Poetry Criticism)


Klinkowitz, Jerome. "Early Writers: Jupiter Hammon, Phillis Wheatley, and Benjamin Banneker." In Black American Writers: Bibliographical Essays. Volume 1: The Beginnings through the Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes, edited by M. Thomas Inge, Maurice Duke, and Jackson R. Bryer, pp. 1-20. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1978.

Identifies sources of information about Hammon's works, manuscripts, letters, biography, and critical reaction to the author.

Wegelin, Oscar. "Bibliography." In his Jupiter Hammon, American Negro Poet: Selections from His Writings and a Bibliography, pp. 47-51. Reprint. 1915. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1970.

Annotated bibliography of Hammon's poetry and essays.


Baker, Houston A., Jr. "Terms for Order: Acculturation, Meaning, and the Early Record of the Journey." In his Journey Back: Issues in Black Literature and Criticism, pp. 1-26. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1980.

Addresses the role of religion in Hammon's poetry. Baker maintains that religion is used by Hammon as a means of conforming with and surviving in eighteenth-century white society.

Bell, Bernard W. "African-American Writers." In American Literature, 1764-1789: The Revolutionary Years, edited by Everett Emerson, pp. 171-94. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1977.

Faults Hammon for his "negative image of Africa and conciliatory tone" and for his emphasis on hymnal form. Bell finds Hammon's poetry lacking in those qualities that elevate the early African-American spiritual.

Ransom, Stanley Austin, Jr., ed. America's First Negro Poet: The Complete Works of Jupiter Hammon of Long Island, by Jupiter Hammon. Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1970.

Includes an introduction by Ransom to the author's life and works, a biographical sketch by Oscar Wegelin, a critical analysis of the poems and essays by Vernon Loggins, and a bibliography of Hammon's works.

Redding, J. Saunders. "The Forerunners: Jupiter Hammon, Phillis Wheatley, George Moses Horton." In To Make a Poet Black, pp. 3-18. College Park, Md.: McGrath Publishing, 1939.

Finds fault with Hammon's poetic style and themes, arguing that his poems do not speak out strongly enough against slavery.

Vertanes, Charles A. "Jupiter Hammon: Early Negro Poet of Long Island." The Nassau County Historical Journal XVIII, No. 1 (Winter 1957): 1-17.

Discusses Hammon's education, the social setting that shaped his poetry, and the manner in which Hammon voiced his opinions about slavery.

Additional coverage of Hammon's life and career is contained in the following sources published by Gale Research: Black Literature Criticism, Vol. 2; Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vols. 31, 50; DISCovering Authors: Multicultural Authors Module and Poets Module; and Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Vol. 5.