MadHat Press

Sterling D. Plumpp—blues poet and essayist—is the author of fourteen books including Home/Bass, Velvet Bebop Kente Cloth, Ornate with Smoke and Blues Narratives. He is the editor of two anthologies, Somehow We Survive, a collection of South African writing and Steel Pudding: Writing from the Gary Historical and Cultural Society Writer’s Workshop. Plumpp is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he served on the faculty in the African American Studies and English Departments. He served as a visiting professor in the Master of Fine Arts Program at Chicago State University, and he served as the Writer-in-Resident at Mississippi Valley State University.

In 2009, Valley Voices produced an entire issue of its journal, The Sterling Plumpp Issue, focused on his poetry, interviews and critical explorations of his work. In 2016, the University Press of Mississippi published Conversations with Sterling Plumpp, edited by John Zheng.  Plumpp is the recipient of numerous awards as a blues poet and African American cultural storyteller including The Before Columbus Foundation’s 2014 American Book Award for Literature. In October 2018, he was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame and recognized for his work as a Blues Scholar. In 2022, Plumpp was honored by his hometown of Clinton, Mississippi, with his inclusion on the Clinton Blues Legacy Marker, which is part of the historic Mississippi Blues Trail. In April 2025, Plumpp will be honored for his contributions to Black culture and to American Arts & Letters and has been invited to be the featured poet in the Cave Canem Legacy Series.  


Exile is now available from MadHat Press.


MadHat Press is a leading publisher of unique and vital contemporary poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and criticism.

MadHat Press seeks to foster the work of writers and poets: explosive, lyrical, passionate, deeply wrought voices that stretch the boundaries of language, narrative and image, vital and enduring literary voices that sing on the page as well as in the mind.

Contact Us
phone: (617) 821-1915

Mailing Address:
PO Box 422
Cheshire MA 01225