2018: Gwendolyn Brooks' 'The Anniad'
‘The Anniad’ is a poem from Gwendolyn Brook’s Pulitzer Prize winning collection, Annie Allen. The title puns on the main character’s name and Vergil’s Aeneid. The poem itself chronicles the life, self-conception, and desires of an African-American woman in light of war and anti-Black racism. Brooks’ complex legacy, including her connection to the Euro-American canon and the reception of her work in different waves of African-American literary studies, can help us examine many aspects of Classical reception, from direct allusion and formal technique to the politics of canonicity.
In 2018-2019, Eos hosted discussions of this poem at the annual meetings of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States and the Classical Association of New England and at the University of Kentucky’s Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Conference.