Literary Criticism online

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

A selective list of literary criticism for African American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, favoring signed articles by recognized scholars and articles published in peer-reviewed sources


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introduction & literary criticism

"Paul Laurence Dunbar." Reprints of excerpts of reliable criticism and has the following sections on Paul Laurence Dunbar: Dunbar's Life and Career | Sterling Brown on Dunbar (1937) | On "Sympathy" | On "When Malindy Sings" | On "The Haunted Oak" | On "We Wear the Mask" | Examples of Dunbar's Illustrated Poems | W. D. Howell's Introduction to Lyrics of Lowly Life (1898) | Dunbar Book Covers | Additional Poems by Dunbar. Modern American Poetry, ed. Cary Nelson (Univ. of Illinois).

"Paul Laurence Dunbar." An extended introduction to Dunbar, includes a list of his works and a secondary reading list. Poetry Foundation.

"Paul Laurence Dunbar." Web site contains a biography, poems and readings, and photos, from Public Relations Office, Univ. of Dayton.

"Paul Laurence Dunbar." A brief introduction to Dunbar from the American Academy of Poets

"Paul Laurence Dunbar." Introduction to Dunbar, from the college textbook publisher the Heath Anthology of American Literature.

Program for the Paul Laurence Dunbar Centennial Celebration at Stanford Univ., March 10-11, 2006

Tourist web site for the Paul Laurence Dunbar's final home, in Ohio

Jarrett, Gene. "'We Must Write Like the White Men': Race, Realism, and Dunbar's Anomalous First Novel." Novel: A Forum on Fiction, Summer 2004 [first page only or purchase]

Lewis, David Levering. Commentary on Paul Laurence Dunbar, from The American Experience on PBS

Li, Xilao. "I know why the caged bird sings!": Dunbar in China. (Paul Laurence Dunbar's works studied in China). African American Review, 2007 [first page only, blurred]

Washington, Margaret. "Paul Lawrence Dunbar-The People's Poet." Article on Dunbar from the American Experience on PBS


teaching resources

Guide for teaching Paul Laurence Dunbar, contributing editors Elaine Hedges and Richard Yarborough, from the Heath Anthology

"Harlem Connections: Teaching Walter Dean Myers's 'Scorpions' in Conjunction with Paul Laurence Dunbar's 'The Sport of the Gods,'" by Mark I. West. Published in the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents

"A Middle School Approach to Black Literature: An Introduction to Dunbar, Johnson, Hughes, and Angelou," by Ivory Erkerd. Published by Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

An introduction to Langston HughesÂ’ work that begins with Paul Dunbar Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute


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