Summer 2010

A Wasp Woman Visits a Black Junkie in Prison

Etheridge Knight

Etheridge Knight (1931–1991) began writing poetry while an inmate at the Indiana State Prison from 1960 to 1968. His first collection, “Poems from Prison,” was published in 1968 and was followed by “A Poem for Brother/Man (after His Recovery from an O.D.)” (1972); “Belly Song and Other Poems” (1973), for which he was nominated for both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award; and “Born of a Woman: New and Selected Poems” (1980). His work was included in “For Malcolm” (1967) and “Black Voices from Prison” (1970) and was collected for “The Essential Etheridge Knight” in 1986. “A Wasp Woman Visits a Black Junkie in Prison,” from “The Essential Etheridge Knight,” by Etheridge Knight, © 1986, is reprinted by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

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