Monica Pelaez is an associate professor of English at St. Cloud State University. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century American poetry. She has published essays on Emily Dickinson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Edgar Allan Poe. She lives in Minneapolis.
Listed in: American Civil War · Literary Studies · Slavery and Slave Trade · African American Studies
Before Black Lives Matter and Hamilton, there were abolitionist poets, who put pen to paper during an era when speaking out against slavery could mean risking your life. Indeed, William Lloyd Garrison was dragged through the streets by a Boston mob before a planned lecture, and publisher Elijah P. Lovejoy was fatally shot while defending his press from rioters.
“This book teaches us that the ‘soft’ antislavery verse was as powerful and as ‘hard’ as any essay or editorial and maybe more effective. Pelaez has pulled off a real hat trick. Her book is a significant contribution to the scholarship on antislavery, slavery, the civil war, and race relations. It is a great set of primary sources that are virtually impossible to obtain. And finally, it is ideal for classroom adoption.”
Paul Finkelman, University of Pittsburgh School of Law