Too personal, too political, too plain…I loved—and love—his [Etheridge Knight’s] work because of the overwhelming passion, the variety of form, and the exact appropriateness of the language. I almost didn’t realize the nervousness, the “calm hysteria” of the poems, their unity of voice, and their overwhelming political stance. It’s almost as if the poet—and his poems—were so grounded, so authentic, that I took that stance for granted. Thus spoke Etheridge; thus was Etheridge. I almost took for granted the magnificent art.
—Gerald Stern, “Etheridge Knight,” Stealing History (Trinity Univ. Press, 2012)