“Henry Banner”


The Found in the Public Domain special series presents “Henry Banner” by Carey Voss. The poem is crafted from Henry Banner’s interview with Samuel S. Taylor recorded in the Arkansas volume of the Work Projects Administration/Federal Writers’ Project Slave Narratives collection.

About the poem and process of creating it, Carey says:

“The WPA Slave Narratives collection contains more than ten thousand typed pages and represents more than two thousand interviews with former slaves. Because of the nature of the interviews, I tried to limit the role of my own voice in their interpretation. My interest in working with this text is not to transform it, but to uncover and draw attention to powerful storylines in each narrative.”