Gerald William Barrax

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Gerald W. Barrax is a poet and educator. Bridging the poetic radicalism and experimentalism of the 1960s to the lyrical and confessional modes of the 1980s, the poetry of Gerald William Barrax draws on the life of the poet as well as the state of African American experience for its intimate power.[1] Whether relating the details of his life with wife and children or questioning the roles of African American leaders, Barrax's poetry continually invokes anxieties concerning responsibility and participation in contemporary American life.

His poems appear in numerous anthologies and journals. He has been recognized by several prestigious awards, including the Raleigh Medal of Arts for "Extraordinary Achievement in the Arts" in 1993, the Sam Regan Award for contribution to the fine arts in North Carolina in 1991, and the 1983 Callaloo Creative Writing Award for Nonfiction Prose.[2] In his role as a Professor of English in creative writing at North Carolina State University, Barrax strove to communicate integrity for the craft of poetry writing and passion for reading the best models of poetry.[3]

Barrax's poetry enacts the contradictory and complex discourses motivating the tradition-bound and tradition-breaking impulses of contemporary African American poetry.


Early life[edit]

Barrax was born in Attalla, Alabama, on 21 June 1933. Barrax spent his early years in the rural South and moved with his family to Pittsburgh in 1944. Barrax completed his primary and secondary education. He began to write poetry when he was 18. Later, he completed a bachelor's degree at Duquesne University. Upon receipt of a master's degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh in 1969, Barrax moved to North Carolina, where he studied and joined the faculty of North Carolina State University in Raleigh.


Barrax has published these books of poetry:

  • 1970: Another Kind of Rain,[4]
  • 1980: An Audience of One : Poems[5]
  • 1987: The Deaths of Animals and Lesser Gods, Vol. 4[6]
  • 1992: Leaning against the Sun, nominated for both the Pulitzer prize and the National Book Award.[7]
  • 1998: From a Person Sitting in Darkness : New and Selected Poems[8]


Rowell, H(2001). "The Southern Cross", Callaloo Pettis, Joyce (1997). "An Interview with Gerald Barrax" Barnes&Noble, Booksearch


  1. ^ Rowell, H(2001). "The Southern Cross", Callaloo
  2. ^ Pettis, Joyce (1997). "An Interview with Gerald Barrax"
  3. ^ Pettis, Joyce (1997). "An Interview with Gerald Barrax"
  4. ^ Barnes&Noble, Booksearch
  5. ^ Barnes&Noble, Booksearch
  6. ^ Barnes&Noble, Booksearch
  7. ^ Barnes&Noble, Booksearch
  8. ^ Barnes&Noble, Booksearch

External links[edit]