This Companion is the first critical collection of its kind devoted solely to American poetry of the nineteenth century. It covers a wide variety of authors, many of whom are currently being rediscovered. A number of anthologies in the recent past have been devoted to the verse of groups such as Native Americans, African-Americans and women. This volume offers essays covering these groups as well as more familiar figures such as Dickinson, Whitman, Longfellow and Melville. The contents are divided between broad topics of concern such as the poetry of the Civil War or the development of the 'poetess' role and articles featuring specific authors such as Edgar Allan Poe or Sarah Piatt. In the past two decades a growing body of scholarship has been engaged in reconceptualizing and re-evaluating this largely neglected area of study in US literary history - this Companion reflects and advances this spirit of revisionism.
Kerry Larson is professor of English at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Whitman's Drama of Consensus (1988) and Imagining Equality in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (2008) as well as numerous articles.