Collection Stored Off-Site

All or portions of this collection are housed off-site. Materials can still be requested but researchers should expect a delay of up to two business days for retrieval.

Subseries 2.3
Poems, 1967-2006
Box 101

Scope and Content Note

The subseries consists of typescript and manuscript poetry written by Cleage from 1967-2006. Topics of her poetry primarily include celebration, family, and love. Of particular interest are manuscript drafts and notes for We Speak Your Names: A Celebration, a poetic celebration commissioned by Oprah Winfrey and co-authored with Cleage's husband Zaron W. Burnett, Jr. The book honored 25 African American women actresses, activists, poets and lyricists including Aretha Franklin, Maya Angelou, and Tina Turner.

Arrangement Note

Arranged in alphabetical order.

Restrictions on Access

Due to privacy concerns, some material has been redacted.

Box Folder Content
101 1 "The Albino Wino Dreams," typescript, 1993
101 2 "Approaching fifty (for Zeke in January)," typescript, 1998
101 3 "Aunt Abbie," typescript, 1971
101 4 "Blue Lights in the Basement," typescript, 1991
101 5 "Bruises," typescript, undated
101 6 "Confession," typescript, 1969
101 7 "Conjure Women," typescript, no date
101 8 "Dancing Man," typescript, undated
101 9 "Decisions (for Michelle)," typescript, 1973
101 10 "Drinking Beer," typescript, undated
101 11 "Early Morning Squirrel Karma: June 2, 8am," typescript, undated
101 12 "To the "Essentials" Family," typescript, 1984
101 13 "Gangsters," typescript, undated
101 14 "Genius Child," typescript, 1989
101 15 "Ghetto Service," collection of poems, 1967
101 16 "Grandfather poem," typescript, 1999
101 17 "Heaven," typescript, undated
101 18 "January 1. 1991: The Real Enemy," typescript, undated
101 19 "Jesus Drum," typescript, 1971
101 20 "Last day of the year (for Z.)," typescript, undated
101 21 "Love Poems," typescript, undated
101 22 "For Lucius," typescript, undated
101 23 "Mean to Be Free," typescript, undated
101 24 "Michael's Poem," manuscript, 1972
101 25 "Music Lover," typescript, 1992
101 26 "My daughter picks the one with the sky in it," typescript, 1988
101 27 "The Nasty Poem" typescript, 1987
101 28 "Observation," typescript, undated
101 29 "Pheumonia Weather," typescript, no date
101 30 "This Photograph Is My Proof," typescript, 2005
101 31 "Pink," typescript, 2000
101 32 "Playing Wagner," typescript, undated
101 33 "Poem for Jack Kerouac, or my Big Time New York Writer Fantasy Flees a Public Relations Job and Goes on Road," typescript, undated
101 34 "A Poem for Kay at the Reading or, The Public Friend," typescript, 1976
101 35 "Poem for Michelle," handwritten, 1972
101 36 Poem on Joe Louis, typescript, 1982
101 37 "For poets who would be saxaphones," typescript, undated
101 38 "The possibility exists," typescript, undated
101 39 "Pretend it's Paris (a lullaby)," typescript, undated
101 40 "Reconciliation," typescript, 1991
101 41 "Random Temporary Good-by Thoughts to the Final Negro," typescript, 1985
101 42 "The Rumor Is," typescript, undated
101 43 "Rumors," typescript, undated
101 44 "Turning Forty," typescript, undated
101 45 "Secret Life (for Z)," typescript, 1989
101 46 "Selena's Poem," typescript, undated
101 47 Spelman anniversary poem, undated
101 48 "Summer is Coming," typescript, 1991
101 49 "Tell me," handwritten, 1972
101 50 "There Are Names (for Cloyd II)," typescript, 2003
101 51 "Mixed Drink (for Kalia)," typescript, 1991
101 52 "Vows," typescript, no date
101 53 "Warwick," typescript, no date
101 54 We Speak Your Names, book covers, 2005
101 55 We Speak Your Names, layouts, 2005 [redacted]
101 56 We Speak Your Names, manuscript drafts and notes, 2005 [1 of 2]
101 57 We Speak Your Names, manuscript drafts and notes, 2005 [2 of 2]
101 58 "Woman poem," typescript, 1971
101 59 "The Writer (For Ruth)," handwritten, 2006
101 60 Untitled poem [1], undated
101 61 Untitled poem [2], undated
101 62 Untitled poem [3], undated
101 63 Untitled poem [4], undated
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