Alice Walker: Poetry Background

Alice Walker: Poetry Background

Alice Walker is an African-American writer and active political advocate, known for her good-great works in fiction, non-fiction and poetry itself. She was born in 1944 in a small rural town in central Georgia, where her parents used to farmed the land.Being the youngest child in a family of eight children, Walker attended a local elementary school during the era of segregation. She graduated in 1961 and was named the valedictorian of her high school class. She proceeded to study at Spelman College and the Sarah Lawrence College, having received scholarships to both institutions for her phenomenal and outstanding academic record. During this time, she became acquainted with Martin Luther King Jr., and embarked on a lifelong quest for betterment and to advance the rights of African-Americans.

Walker's first poetic collection, Once, was written while she was attending Sarah Lawrence College. When it happened to published in 1968, Walker had begun actively working for civil rights with institutions such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Her very first novel, The Third Life of Grange Copeland, followed up in 1970. During this time, Walker also mentored classes in writing at universities such as Tugaloo College in Mississippi.

Publishing numerous short stories and poetic collections throughout the whole 1970s, Walker's big major commercial breakthrough came with the release of The Color Purple in 1982. Like much of Walker's work, the novel tells story of an African-American woman living in the South as she handled heartbreaking racism, rape, and pregnancy. This work was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and effectively rooted Walker as amongst the most prominent and influential voices of her time. Walker has continued to release novels, poetics, and her non-fiction works while remaining politically outspoken.

The collected poems of Alice Walker were published in 2004 under the sole title Her Blue Body Everything We Know: 1965-1990 Complete. The huge collection contained every poem published by the writer from her early beginnings in 1965, until the days of her fame in 1990. The reader follows as she develops both as a beautiful writer and prolonged activist, chronicling her experiences with incredible taste of honesty. The work also contained several previously unpublished poems, as well as a self explanatory preface written by Walker herself.

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