Tracking Seven Widely Anthologized Poems

Signature poems by Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Nikki Giovanni, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Margaret Walker are widely anthologized, though some of those poems circulate more than others.

Our dataset consists of 118 different anthologies, which include at least one of seven signature poems by the poets.

With 78 reprints, Langston Hughes’s “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” has been anthologized the most. His poem has appeared at least twice in every decade since the 1920s.

The anthologies with the several widely anthologized poems cover a 103-year period, 1919–2022.

During the 1970s, signature poems by Amiri Baraka, Langston Hughes, and Claude McKay were most anthologized.

During the 1990s, signature poems by Baraka, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Hughes, and McKay were most anthologized.

Gwendolyn Brooks and Hughes were the most anthologized during the 2000s.

The majority of the seven signature poems appear in primarily African American anthologies.

Explore this interactive bibliography, which focuses poem, kind of anthology, and publication decade.