Folding a River, a collection of elegies, shows a pleasing range of free-verse forms that develop themes sustained throughout: loss, exile, myth, landscape. Kawita Kandpal’s poems are explorations of East–West cultures, taking her into an emo-mythic place not to be found on any map. Kandpal’s mood in Folding a River is melancholy, articulated with intelligence and grace, and her phrasing can rise to the level of proverb: “This time next year you will have evolved into an idea.” In its personal evocations of geographical and linguistic exile from the subcontinent, centered on a lost father, her work recalls that of Li-Young Lee, yet with a feminine perspective often haunting in its own right: “tenderly / taking back the mistakes of men.”
This thorough, well-researched exploration of the origins and development of a rich and varied African American musical tradition features authentic versions of over 40 folk songs. These include such time-honored selections as "Wake Up Jonah," "Rock Chariot," "Wonder Where Is My Brother Gone," "Traveling Shoes," "It's Getting Late in the Evening," "Dark Was the Night," "I'm Crossing Jordan River," "Russia, Let That Moon Alone," "Long John," "Rosie," "Motherless Children," three versions of "John Henry," and many others. One of the first and best surveys in its field, Negro Folk Music, U.S.A. has long been admired for its perceptive history and analysis of the origins and musical qualities of typical forms, ranging from simple cries and calls to anthems and spirituals, ballads, and the blues. Traditional dances and musical instruments are examined as well. The author — a well-known novelist, folklorist, journalist, and specialist in African and African American cultures — offers a discerning study of the influence of this genre on popular music, with particular focus on how jazz developed out of folk traditions.
Building on his 2006 book, Which Side Are You On?, Dick Weissman's A New History of American and Canadian Folk Music presents a provocative discussion of the history, evolution, and current status of folk music in the United States and Canada. North American folk music achieved a high level of popular acceptance in the late 1950s. When it was replaced by various forms of rock music, it became a more specialized musical niche, fragmenting into a proliferation of musical styles. In the pop-folk revival of the 1960s, artists were celebrated or rejected for popularizing the music to a mass audience. In particular the music seemed to embrace a quest for authenticity, which has led to endless explorations of what is or is not faithful to the original concept of traditional music. This book examines the history of folk music into the 21st century and how it evolved from an agrarian style as it became increasingly urbanized. Scholar-performer Dick Weissman, himself a veteran of the popularization wars, is uniquely qualified to examine the many controversies and musical evolutions of the music, including a detailed discussion of the quest for authenticity, and how various musicians, critics, and fans have defined that pursuit.
by Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.). Music Division
Prospectus, including music for tunes of sample folk songs (45 p.), plus Volumes 1 and 2 (A-C) of a proposed "Encyclopedia of folk music and folk songs of the United States" (363 p.). Bibliography, vol. 1, p. 8-168.