Why the Woman is Singing on the Corner
a verse narrative
by Dolores Kendrick
This title is out of print
Dolores Kendrick has been noted as one of the top ten African-American poets writing today. A native Washingtonian, Ms. Kendrick was appointed Poet Laureate of the District of Columbia in 1999, the second person honored with the title, following Sterling Brown, who was appointed in 1984. Her rich history of poetic contributions to local and national publications has earned her numerous awards and honors. Her latest publication, Why the Woman is Singing on the Corner, draws the reader into a verse narrative, where we are introduced to Ophelia, Kendrick's singing woman. Her story reaches deep places, and resonates with life.
Dolores Kendrick has arrived at that point in her career where she understands exquisitely what she wants to say to you... She means it when she says, 'I smell promises in swelling dung heaps. I take what I can when I can get it.' I salute the book--also--for its amazing bits of risk and reckoning and hallelujah.
-Gwendolyn Brooks, poet
I read some of the new poems by Dolores Kendrick and they took the dryness out of my soul. Kendrick is the First Lady of Poetry in Washington DC... Once again she examines the hearts of black women. Kendrick mixes holy water with words. Her poems will bless you. They will make you sing.
-E. Ethelbert Miller, Director, African American Resource Center, Howard University
The Women of Plums established Dolores Kendrick as a major figure in American Letters, giving us new hope for this country's literature.... Now we behold a new Kendrick work, Why the Woman is Singing on the Corner. Thank you. Thank you for these women, and for going to the deepest well once more. We were so thirsty.
-Grace Cavalieri, Producer/Host, "The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress"
To discover Dolores Kendrick's answer to the title question is to have a deep and poetically powerful reading experience.
-John Kane, English Department, Phillips Exeter Academy
About the Author
Ms. Kendrick has written three books: Through the Ceiling, Now Is the Thing to Praise, and The Women of Plums: Poems in the Voices of Slave Women, the latter of which won the coveted Annisfield-Wolfe Award. She adapted The Women of Plums for theatrical performance in Cleveland, Ohio, and at the Kennedy Center. The adaptation won the New York New Playwrights Award in 1997. A CD, The Color of Dusk, in collaboration with Wall Matthews and Aleta Greene, and consisting of music based on The Women of Plums, was released in 1996, winning rave reviews from music critics nationally. The Women of Plums won the Best Book for Teenagers Award in 1991 from the New York Public Library.
A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Award, the George Kent Award for Literature, and an invitation from the Chinese government to lecture at the Shanghai School of Foreign Languages, she has received two Yaddo Fellowships and a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship. She was the first Vira I. Heinz Professor Emerita at Phillips Exeter Academy. Chicago State University has inducted Ms. Kendrick into the International Literary Hall of Fame for writers of African-American descent, an honor sponsored by the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing.
Ms. Kendrick was one of the selected poets invited to the National Book Festival, sponsored by Laura Bush, to be celebrated at the White House and the Library of Congress in September 2001. The Library of Congress has recorded her poetry for its Contemporary Poets series. Ms. Kendrick was also one of the original designers and teachers at the School Without Walls in Washington, DC.
Currently, she is working on an adaptation of The Women of Plums for production at the National Theater, and she has been commissioned to write a poem that will be placed on a sculpture in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library in downtown Washington.
Poetry. 5.5"x8.5", 102 pages, paperback
$16.95 / ISBN 0-931807-00-0