“The first part of Darktown Follies, a collection of poems by Amaud Jamaul Johnson, focuses on the challenges of black performers, particularly in minstrelsy, a genre of entertainment involving the performance of black stereotypes through dancing, music and various other skits. Johnson forces us to think about how ‘performing’ minstrelsy has led to a type of ‘performing’ of various stereotypes by black Americans in everyday life today.”
About the Author
Born and raised in Compton, California, Amaud Jamaul Johnson is the author of three poetry collections, Red Summer (2006), Darktown Follies (2013), and Imperial Liquor (2020). A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford, MacDowell Fellow, and Cave Canem Fellow, his honors include the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Dorset Prize, and a Pushcart Prize. His work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, American Poetry Review, The New York Times Magazine, Kenyon Review, Callaloo, Lit Hub, Narrative Magazine, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, The Southern Review, Harvard Review and elsewhere. Previously, he served as the Halls Bascom Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Arthur M. and Fanny M. Dole Professor of English at Pomona College. His most recent collection, Imperial Liquor, was a finalist for the 2021 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2021 UNT Rilke Prize.