From the Harlem Renaissance to the beat movement, from the poets of the New York school to the
contemporary poetry scene, the jazz aesthetic has been a compelling literary force—one that Jazz
Poems makes palpable. We hear it in the poems of Langston Hughes, E. E. cummings, William
Carlos Williams, Frank O’Hara, and Gwendolyn Brooks, and in those of Yusef Komunyakaa,
Charles Simic, Rita Dove, Ntozake Shange, Mark Doty, William Matthews, and C. D. Wright.
Here are poems that pay tribute to jazz’s great voices, and poems that throb with the vivid rhythm
and energy of the jazz tradition, ranging in tone from mournful elegy to sheer celebration.