Monday, May 14, 2012

15 Moments of Importance in African American Poetry, 1993-2002

1993 - Maya Angelou reads poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at inauguration of Bill Clinton.

1993 - Rita Dove appointed Poet Laureate of U.S.

1993 - Kevin Young's Most Way Home (1995) is selected by Lucille Clifton as a National Poetry Series Winner.

1994  - The Furious Flower Poetry conference, a large gathering of poets and literary scholars organized by Joanne Gabbin, takes place at James Madison University in Virgina from September 29 - October 1.

1994 - Yusef Komunyakaa wins Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

1996 - Cave Canem, a poetry retreat and workshop for African American poets, is founded by Toi Derricotte and Cornelius Eady.

1996 - The Norton Anthology of African American Literature edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay.

1997  - The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde is published.

2000 - Lucille Clifton wins the National Book Award for Poetry for her volume Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems 1988-2000.

2001 - Yusef Komunyakaa awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.

2001 - Terrance Hayes's Hip Logic (2002) is selected by Cornelius Eady as a National Poetry Series Winner.

2001 - Sonia Sanchez is awarded the Robert Frost Medal.

2001- Brutal Imagination by Cornelius Eady is published. In the volume, Eady takes the persona of a fictitious black man that Susan Smith had accused of kidnapping her children. Eady's book,  a finalist for the National Book Award, was later adapted into an Off Broadway play.    

2002 - "Let America Be America Again: An International Symposium on the Art, Life & Legacy of Langston Hughes," a large number of poets and scholars organized by Maryemma Graham, takes place at the University of Kansas in Lawrence Kansas to celebrate the centennial birth year of Hughes.

2002 - Amiri Baraka appointed Poet Laureate of New Jersey in July.In October, New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey did away with the position of New Jersey Poet Laureate to remove Amiri Baraka from the post because of the controversy related to his poem "Who Blew Up America," about 9/11.

15 Moments, 1918 - 1950
8 Moments, 1959 - 1968
10 Moments, 1965 - 1976
12 Moments, 1976 - 1992

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