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UD Special Collections > Exhibitions > Ishmael Reed

Early Work

Advance (Newark, New Jersey), vol. 1, no. 1 (25 September 1965).
Ishmael Reed served as the original editor of Advance, a short-lived African American community newspaper published and sold in Newark, New Jersey.

The East Village Other (New York), vol. 1, no. 1 (October 1965).
Ishmael Reed helped found this legendary tabloid, which was the first underground newspaper to reach a national audience. He was also a contributor to The East Village Other.

Poets of Today: A New American Anthology, edited by Walter Lowenfels. New York: International Publishers, [1964].
The noted American expatriate author and anthologist, Walter Lowenfels, included Ishmael Reed's early poems in several of his anthologies. This collection publishes Reed's poem "The Ghost of Birmingham." Displayed with the anthology is a typed note from Lowenfels to Ishmael Reed, dated 16 November 1963, accepting the poem for Poets of Today.

The Rise, Fall and ... ? of Adam Clayton Powell, by Emmett Coleman, with others. New York: Bee-Line, 1967.
This early biography of the controversial New York congressman was written by Ishmael Reed and a team of collaborators and published under the pseudonym Emmett Coleman. It is the first full-length treatment of this important African American politician's life and career.

Umbra (New York), volume one, number one (Winter, 1963).
Umbra (New York), volume one, number two (December 1963).
Umbra Blackworks (1970-71).
Features the first published appearance of Reed's poem "catechism of d neoamerican hoodoo church."

Ishmael Reed was a member of the Umbra Workshop, which was founded in 1962 in the Lower East Side of New York by the poet Tom Dent as a means of bringing together African American writers, artists, and musicians. The short-lived Umbra was launched as an outlet for exploring "the experience of being Negro, especially in America" and to emphasize "that quality of human awareness often termed 'social consciousness.'"

19 Necromancers from Now

This early anthology helped establish Ishmael Reed as an astute editor and essayist. In addition to appearances by established African American authors LeRoi Jones and John A. Williams, emerging writers such as Cecil Brown, Clarence Major, Victor Hernandez Cruz, and longtime Reed collaborators Steve Cannon, Frank Chin, Al Young, and others were also included. 19 Necromancers from Now cover



Introduction | The Novels | Poetry | Essays and Non-fiction

Editor and Publisher | Ishmael Reed in Translation | Theatrical and Performance Writing

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