African American Poetry (1870-1926): A Digital Anthology

Fenton Johnson: Poems and Author Profile

Fenton Johnson (1888-1958) was born and raised in Chicago in a middle-class family. He briefly attended Northwestern  University before completing a Bachelor's degree at the University of Chicago. Johnson also attended the Columbia University Pulitzer School of Journalism. Johnson also briefly taught at a private college in Louisville, Kentucky and lived in New York City for a few years during the 1910s. 

Johnson published three collections of poetry in the 1910s, including A Little Dreaming (1913), Visions of the Dusk (1915), and Songs of the Soil (1916). 

Songs of the Soil was reviewed in Poetry Magazine in June 1917. The issue of Poetry where the review was published can be found here.

Through the 1910s, Johnson collaborated with his peers on a series of mostly unsuccessful publishing ventures, including a magazine called The Champion (1916) as well as second magazine called The Favorite Magazine (1918-1919). Both magazines quickly failed, and Johnson re-published several of the short stories he wrote for The Favorite Magazine in a collection of short stories called Tales of Darkest America

Johnson published several poems in predominantly white modernist poetry magazines in the 1910s and 20s, including Poetry and Others

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