Other literary forms
In addition to his novels, for which he is primarily known, William Melvin Kelley is the author of a collection of short stories, Dancers on the Shore (1964). Some of these stories were written before his first novel, and almost all introduce characters, themes, and ideas that appear in later works. A 1997 New Yorker story, “Carlyle Tries Polygamy: How Many Are Too Many?” reveals that, despite almost thirty years of nearly complete fiction-publication silence, Kelley maintained interest in creatively pursuing some of the personages and ideas that appeared earlier in his short and long fiction. Selections of his fiction mostly appeared in late 1960’s and 1970’s anthologies of African American writers. He has been a nonfiction and fiction contributor to periodicals such as Accent, Canto, Esquire, Jazz and Pop, Mademoiselle, Negro Digest, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Partisan Review, Playboy, Quilt, River Styx, Urbanite, and Works in Progress.