Claude McKay's Early Poetry (1911-1922): A Digital Collection

Harlem Shadows (1922): Digital Edition


Here we present a digital edition of Harlem Shadows with poems in the original order of publication. This book was first published in New York in 1922. It was McKay's fourth book of poetry, but his first published in the U.S. 

A number of the poems contained in Harlem Shadows were first published in earlier collections like the British Spring in New Hampshire, as well as in various literary magazines in England and the U.S. Where possible, I have included Metadata with information about original dates of publication for poems that appeared in multiple venues between 1916 and 1922. 

Many poems in Harlem Shadows are marked by thematic tags. As of November 2016, we have focused on a limited array of tags: race, class, city, sexuality, nature, home. Users can see how the different thematic tags relate to each other in a network diagram using the menus on the upper corner of the screen (go to "Visualization" and then select "Tag"). 

The text of the poems here was extracted from a "dirty OCR" version of the collection derived from the Internet Archive. Cleaning of the OCR, editing for the web, and thematic tagging was performed by the seven students mentioned on the home page for this site. The site has been rebuilt in Scalar by Amardeep Singh; additional metadata has also been added by Amardeep Singh. 

--Amardeep Singh. November 2016

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  1. "Harlem Shadows" (1922) Title Page