William Braithwaite Criticism - Essay

Benjamin Brawley (essay date 1918)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: Brawley, Benjamin. “William Stanley Braithwaite.” In The Negro in Literature and Art in the United States, pp. 89-96. New York: Duffield & Company, 1930.

[In the following essay, originally published in 1918, Brawley praises Braithwaite's two collections of verse, Lyrics of Life and Love and The House of Falling Leaves.]

Prominent for some years, first as poet and then as critic, has been William Stanley Braithwaite, of Boston. The work of this author belongs not so much to Negro literature as to American literature in the large, and he has encouraged and inspired a host of other writers. With singleness of purpose he has given himself to books...

(The entire section is 1345 words.)

Conrad Aiken (essay date 1919)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: Aiken, Conrad. “Poetry as Supernaturalism: William Stanley Braithwaite.” In Scepticisms: Notes on Contemporary Poetry, pp. 126-32. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1919.

[In the following essay, Aiken contends that Braithwaite's approach to poetry criticism is based on emotional considerations rather than analysis.]

The energy of Mr. Braithwaite is unflagging. Not content with bringing out annually the Anthology of Magazine Verse, he has lately entered upon another and even huger enterprise—“A Critical Anthology,” he calls it; and this, too, threatens to become a hardy perennial. In these four hundred pages, which for the greater part consist of his...

(The entire section is 1230 words.)

Philip Butcher (essay date spring 1971)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: Butcher, Philip. “William Stanley Braithwaite's Southern Exposure: Rescue and Revelation.” The Southern Literary Journal 3, no. 2 (spring 1971): 49-61.

[In the following essay, Butcher discusses the Boston-born poet's experiences as lecturer and teacher in Atlanta and how those experiences influenced his work.]

Harlem's Countee Cullen, with three volumes of poetry and an anthology to his credit, could be sure the readers of his literary page shared the sentiments he expressed after a trip to what he regarded as a hostile region.

We journeyed late last month for the first time to the far South, passing with some slight...

(The entire section is 4652 words.)

Craig S. Abbott (essay date summer 1994)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: Abbott, Craig S. “Magazine Verse and Modernism: Braithwaite's Anthologies.” Journal of Modern Literature 19, no. 1 (summer 1994): 151-9.

[In the following essay, Abbott examines Braithwaite's annual poetry anthologies, maintaining that Braithwaite's critical perspective made him unsympathetic to many of the poets of High Modernism and of the Harlem Renaissance.]

William Stanley Braithwaite (1878-1962) has been credited with “bullying and cajoling American readers into accepting modern and unconventional writings,” largely through the annual collections of magazine verse which he edited from 1913 through 1929.1 Yet that was neither his...

(The entire section is 5097 words.)

Lisa Szefel (essay date March 2001)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: Szefel, Lisa. “Encouraging Verse: William S. Braithwaite and the Poetics of Race.” The New England Quarterly 74, no. 1 (March 2001): 32-61.

[In the following essay, Szefel discusses Braithwaite's role in revitalizing American poetry in the early years of the twentieth century.]

By the first years of the twentieth century, America boasted international leadership in industry, finance, and corporate organization. The country could not, however, brag about its literary prowess. In the decades following the Civil War, no poet arose to rival Whitman, nor did any endowments, prizes, or professional forums exist to promote verse. Magazines sometimes printed poems...

(The entire section is 10288 words.)