Etheridge Knight

Zachary Perdieu (University of Georgia)
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Upon the publication of his first book of poetry,

Poems from Prison

(1968), Etheridge Knight was championed as a vital and authentic new voice of the Black Arts Movement while still incarcerated in the Indiana State Penitentiary. From this unique beginning, Knight went on to receive a National Endowment of the Arts grant and Guggenheim Fellowship, and his follow-up collection,

Belly Song and Other Poems

(1973), was nominated for both a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. Given his themes and experience with mass incarceration, addiction, and black masculinity, Etheridge Knight remains one of the most influential and yet lesser-known American poets.

Knight, the third of seven children, was born on 19 April 1931 in Corinth, Mississippi to Etheridge Knight Sr. and Belzora Cozart Knight.

2058 words

Citation: Perdieu, Zachary. "Etheridge Knight". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 February 2021 [, accessed 23 February 2024.]

14669 Etheridge Knight 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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