Knees of a Natural Man: The Selected Poetry of Henry Dumas

by: Henry Dumas

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Knees of a Natural Man: The Selected Poetry of Henry Dumas / Edited and with an introduction by Eugene B. Redmond / ISBN 9781733273435 / 296-page paperback from the small press Flood Editions

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"His work remains--a testimonial to his own committed love, his own sharp perceptiveness and zeal."--Gwendolyn Brooks

"In 1968, a young Black man, Henry Dumas, went through a turnstile at a New York City subway station. A transit cop shot him in the chest and killed him. Circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear. Before that happened, however, he had written some of the most beautiful, moving, and profound poetry and fiction that I have ever in my life read. He was thirty-three years old when he was killed, but in those thirty-three years, he had completed work, the quality and quantity of which are almost never achieved in several lifetimes. He was brilliant. He was magnetic, and he was an incredible artist."--Toni Morrison

Henry Dumas was born in Sweet Home, Arkansas, in 1934 and moved to Harlem at the age of ten. He joined the air force in 1953 and spent a year on the Arabian Peninsula. Upon his return, Dumas became active in the civil rights movement, married, had two sons, attended Rutgers University, worked for IBM, and taught at Hiram College in Ohio and at Southern Illinois University. In 1968, at the age of thirty-three, he was shot and killed by a New York City Transit Authority police officer.