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Ntozake Shange Biography

(1948– ), For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf

university verse poetry include

African-American experimental dramatist and poet, born in Trenton, New Jersey, educated at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. In 1983 she became Associate Professor of Drama at the University of Houston. She achieved wide recognition for her innovative fusion of poetry, theatre, and dance when For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf (1976) was produced on Broadway in 1975. The work consists of verse monologues spoken by seven women and shares its celebratory emphasis on the qualities of black womanhood with her other plays, among them A Photograph: Lovers-In-Motion, Boogie Woogie Landscapes, and Spell #7, which were collected as Three Pieces in 1981. Her collections of poetry, which employ energetically rhythmical free verse, include Nappy Edges (1978), From Okra to Greens (1984), A Daughter's Geography (1985), The Love Space Demands (1991), and I Live in Music (1994). Other works include the novels Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo (1982), a lyrical account of the lives of three women; Betsey Brown (1985), a semi-autobiographical treatment of the late 1950s and the beginnings of civil rights campaigning; and Liliane: Resurrection of the Daughter (1995); See No Evil: Prefaces, Essays and Accounts 1976–83 (1984); and Ridin' the Moon in Texas: Word Paintings (1987).

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