‘My Papa’s Waltz’ is one of the most popular and most widely studied poems by the American poet Theodore Roethke (1908-63). In this poem, published in 1948, Roethke recalls dancing with his drunken father, remembering this childhood experience with mixed feelings. You can read ‘My Papa’s Waltz’ here – the […]
‘Two-Headed Calf’ is a short poem by the American poet Laura Gilpin (1950-2007). If Gilpin had written nothing else besides this nine-line poem she would be fondly remembered by many, because in this short piece she manages to pack as much powerful emotion as we find in many longer poems.
Phillis Wheatley (c. 1753-84) was the first African-American woman to publish a book of poetry: Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral appeared in 1773 when she was probably still in her early twenties. Because Wheatley stands at the beginning of a long tradition of African-American poetry, it’s worth considering […]
‘Everyday Use’ is one of the most popular and widely studied short stories by Alice Walker. It was first published in Harper’s Magazine in 1973 before being collected in Walker’s short-story collection In Love and Trouble. Walker uses ‘Everyday Use’ to explore different attitudes towards Black American culture and heritage. […]
‘Cathedral’ is perhaps the most widely studied of all the short stories of Raymond Carver (1938-88). The story is narrated by a man whose wife has invited her friend, a blind man named Robert, to come and stay with them. Although he is initially uncomfortable and even scathing about their […]