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Vivian Ayers

Hawk is a magnificent long-form poem analogizing flight into space with freedom. First published in 1957, these new editions (paperback and hardcover facsimile) mark the first time Hawk is widely available for purchase.

A new edition of Hawk is a special way to mark Dr. Vivian Ayers’s 100th birthday. It is also an especially important time for anyone who has not read Hawk to do so, and for anyone who read this book when it was first published to read it again.
—Johnette Betsch Cole, President Emerita of Spelman and Bennett Colleges

The poem Hawk is the quintessential quest for freedom for all humankind. It is a representation of our search for enlightenment, creative expression, identity, and peace.
—Carl S. McNair, brother of Space Shuttle Challenger astronaut Dr. Ronald E. McNair

I felt moved by Dr. Ayers Allen’s insistence that “all things bursting with inspiration, nothing seemed insurmountable.” I found Hawk to be a statement of hope for our present and our future. The message from Hawk throughout screamed to me the phrase quoted in the introduction: “Be true! Be beautiful! Be free! Force nothing! … let things happen!” I hope the re-publication of Hawk will inspire and move readers young and old to dream and to believe in the critical importance of “truth as the angel of freedom.”
—Charles F. Bolden, Jr., 12th NASA Administrator, Major General, USMC (Ret.)

Hawk is a stunning work of verse. Soaring. Confident. The energy and momentum are exhilarating, as it toggles between the lyrical, incantatory, deeply intellectual, and narratively propulsive, with a cadence all its own. I was mesmerized.
—Margot Douaihy, author of Scorched Grace, Bandit/Queen, and Scranton Lace

Hawk is the legacy of our mother and our family. We lived her poetry and traveled the journey of freedom and a higher level of existence everyday.
—Debbie Allen, actress, director, choreographer, and daughter of Vivian Ayers Allen

Hawk is an invocation—original, eloquent, lyrical, rhythmic, comical, poignant, and profound!
—Phylicia Rashad, actress, director, academic, and daughter of Vivian Ayers Allen

About the Author

Vivian Ayers Allen is a poet, cultural activist, American classicist and the mother of Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen. She is a native of Chester, SC where she founded the Brainerd Institute Heritage and established the "Workshops in Open Fields" program. She turned 100 years old in 2023.

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Pages: 80 pages

Published: October 2023


ISBN: 978-1-63804-091-0

ISBN: 978-1-63804-092-7


General Interest