Download Jump Back, Paul: The Life and Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar Audiobook

Jump Back, Paul: The Life and Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar Audiobook, by Sally Derby Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Sally Derby Narrator: Dion Graham, Bahni Turpin Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2015 ISBN: 9781491502853
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Experience the breadth and depth of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poetry—and learn how it reflects his singular life as a late-nineteenth-century black man.

Did you know that Paul Laurence Dunbar originated such famous lines as "I know why the caged bird sings" and "We wear the mask that grins and lies"? From his childhood in poverty and his early promise as a poet through his struggles to find acceptance as a writer and his tumultuous romance with his wife, to his immense fame and his untimely death, Dunbar’s story is one of triumph and tragedy. But his legacy remains in his much-beloved poetry—told in both Standard English and in dialect—which continues to delight and inspire readers today. More than two dozen of Dunbar’s poems are woven throughout this volume, illuminating the phases of his life and serving as examples of dialect, imagery, and tone. Narrating in a voice full of admiration and respect, Sally Derby introduces Paul Laurence Dunbar’s life and poetry to listeners young and old.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Jump back, reader, here’s a biography to remember.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “The author is…quite respectful toward this beloved black poet.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Listening to Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s poetry is truly a delight. Narrator Dion Graham reads the poems to perfectly mirror their intended tone—each poem interspersed in the biographical narrative is given its own lyrical performance. Bahni Turpin expertly delivers the voice of the grandma, who inspired the author to research and write Paul’s story. Her conversational tone, aimed directly at listeners, draws the audience close and creates an authentic storytelling experience. Dunbar’s life is fascinating, and even the author’s notes are well worth a listen.”


  • Finalist for the 2016 Audie Award for Best Narration for Middle School

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About the Narrators

Dion Graham, from HBO’s The Wire, also narrates The First 48 on A&E. Winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, he has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. His performances have been praised as thoughtful and compelling, vivid and full of life.

Bahni Turpin has won numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and several prestigious Audie Awards for her audiobook narrations, and Publishers Weekly magazine named her Narrator of the Year for 2016. She is an ensemble member of the Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles. She has guest starred in many television series, including NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Six Feet Under, Cold Case, What about Brian, and The Comeback. Film credits include Brokedown Palace, Crossroads, and Daughters of the Dust. She is also a member of the recording cast of The Help, which won numerous awards.