ONCE (1968)

This first volume of poetry established Alice Walker as a poet of unusual sensitivity and power.  All of these poems were written either in East Africa, where Walker spent the summer of 1965, or during her senior year at Sarah Lawrence College.  The collection is remarkably mature and varied: the opening group of graceful, witty poems remains an enduring “snapshot” of Africa viewed by a black American woman, while other works focus on the civil rights struggle, the South, and love.  “Through poetry,” she writes, “I have lived to find within myself my own ‘invincible sun.'”

“A sensitive, spirited, and intelligent poet.  Feeling is channeled into a style that is direct and sharp….”


“Brief slashing poems — young, and in the sun.”

Muriel Rukeyser

September 27, 2010

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