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Memoir / African American Literature / Journalism


Livin’ the Blues
Memoirs of a Black Journalist and Poet
Frank Marshall Davis
Edited with an introduction by John Edgar Tidwell

Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography
William L. Andrews, Series Editor

“Adds a fearless new voice to the Black Renaissance.”—Kirkus Reviews

Frank Marshall Davis was a prominent poet, journalist, jazz critic, and civil rights activist on the Chicago and Atlanta scene from the 1920s through 1940s. He was an intimate of Langston Hughes and Richard Wright and an influential editor at the Chicago Evening Bulletin, the Chicago Whip, the Chicago Star, and the Atlanta World. He renounced his writing career in 1948 and moved to Hawaii, forgotten until the Black Arts Movement rediscovered him in the 1960s.

Because of his early self-exile from the literary limelight, Davis’s life and work have been shrouded in mystery. Livin’ the Blues offers us a chance to rediscover this talented poet and writer and stands as an important example of black autobiography, similar in form, style, and message to those of Langston Hughes and Richard Wright.

Both a social commentary and intellectual exploration into African American life in the twentieth century.”
—Charles Vincent, Atlanta History

Frank Marshall Davis (1905–1987) published four poetry volumes: Black Man’s Verse, I Am the American Negro, Through Sepia Eyes, and 47th Street: Poems. John Edgar Tidwell is associate professor of English at the University of Kansas. He has also edited Black Moods: Collected Poems.

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cover of Davis is old photo of Davis

January 1993
408 pp. 14 b/w photos 6 x 9

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