Other literary forms
Michael S. Harper works almost exclusively as a poet, but in collaboration with Robert B. Stepto, he edited Chant of Saints: A Gathering of Afro-American Literature, Art, and Scholarship (1979), one of the most influential anthologies of African American letters since Alain Locke’s anthology from the Harlem Renaissance, The New Negro: An Interpretation (1925). Like Locke’s anthology, Chant of Saints represents a substantial accomplishment in defining the importance of African American artists and writers to American culture. This was followed by Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945 (1994) and The Vintage Book of African American Poetry (2000), both edited in collaboration with Anthony Walton. In addition to his poetry and these anthologies, Harper has published several essays, including “My Poetic Technique and the Humanization of the American Audience,” in Black American Literature and Humanism (1981). Harper also edited The Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown (1980).