Shakespeare volumes on a shelf

In Memoriam of the Convict Scholar

An 1899 issue of The Monthly Record reports the death of an acclaimed Shakespearian "convict scholar," who served over 20 years on a life sentence.

Featured Poem from the APN Collection: Lonely Nights

A jarring dose of humanity comes with the 1979 poem by Reva Walker at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women.
A bust of Hesiod, a photograph of Joan Didion, the cover of Didion's book The White Album, and the first page of Hesiod's Work and Days

From Didion to Hesiod: The Center Will Not Hold

Hesiod's poem reminds us that in the end, we must all make sense of our works and days, with the help of—or in spite of—the stories in our heads.
The evolution of a single line from David Walker’s Appeal

Comparing Editions of David Walker’s Abolitionist Appeal

Digitization allows researchers to trace editorial and authorial changes in archival content. Both are central to the study of this famous abolitionist pamphlet.
The 1939 first edition cover of The Grapes of Wrath

Banning The Grapes of Wrath in 1939 California

The Kern County, CA Board of Supervisors got a lesson in the Streisand Effect back in 1939, when they banned The Grapes of Wrath from their libraries and schools.
Major levels of linguistic structure

Filler Words and Floor Holders: The Sounds Our Thoughts Make

So, well, okay, um, like, you know, right?
Pixelated books

Are Video Games Like Novels?

Video games as interactive storytelling? Maybe not at first glance, but as Eric Hayot explains, the interplay between game and narrative is real.

Independent Voices of the Black American Press

The digitized newspapers in this open access collection offer insight into the country’s diverse civil rights movements following the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Two open mouths with water ripples emanating out towards each other

Words on the Way In: A Retrospective

The first installment of a new column on living language: talking about COVID (talk)
Donald Goines, from the back cover of an early edition of Dopefiend

Donald Goines, Detroit’s Crime Writer Par Excellence

The writer used hard-boiled fiction as a wide lens to accurately capture the widescreen disparity of Black life in the 1970s.