Women of the Early Harlem Renaissance: African American Women Writers 1900-1922

"Songs from the Wayside," by Clara Ann Thompson (1908)


Collection of Poems by Clara Ann Thompson. Self-published in Rossmoyne Ohio in 1908. 


Clara Ann Thompson was born, possibly in 1868, in Rossmoyne, Ohio. Both of her parents were formerly enslaved people. According to Mary Anne Stewart Boelcskevy, she was a member of the YWCA, the NAACP and was active in the Baptist Church. While her collection, Songs from the Wayside was self-published, some of her poems were anthologized in prominent collections, including the Walter Clinton Jackson/Newman Ivey White collection An Anthology of Verse by American Negroes (1924).

This collection is somewhat unique among the collections archived on this site in that it contains a significant number of poems using black vernacular English (referred to at the time as "dialect poetry"). 

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  1. Clara Ann Thompson, Photograph from "Songs from the Wayside"
  2. Songs from the Wayside Title Page