Robert Hayden was one of the most important American poets of the twentieth century. He left behind an exquisite body of work, collected in this definitive edition, including A Ballad of Remembrance, Words in the Mourning Time, The Night-Blooming Cereus, Angle of Ascent, and American Journal, which was nominated for a National Book Award. Also included is an introduction by American poet Reginald Dwayne Betts, as well as an afterword by Arnold Rampersad that provides a critical and historical context. In Hayden's work the actualities of history and culture became the launching places for flights of imagination and intelligence. His voice-characterized by musical diction and an exquisite feeling for the formality of pattern-is a seminal one in American life and literature.