|Dunbar was from Ohio|
Paul Laurence Dunbar was from Ohio, and so are poets Rita Dove, Thylias Moss, and William J. Harris. Although his prominence as a Harlem Renaissance figure lead many folks to think he's from New York, Langston Hughes is actually from the Joplin, Missouri. Hughes spent years growing up in Kansas--the same state where Gwendolyn Brooks was born and where Kevin Young also spent years growing up, though he was born in Nebraska.
Brooks's family moved to Illinois not long after her birth, making her part of a large number of poets from somewhere else who moved to or spent time in Chicago. Novelist Richard Wright, who did early work as a poet, was born in Mississippi and lived in Arkansas and Tennessee before making his way to Chicago. Margaret Walker was born in Alabama, but also spent years in Chicago.
|Margaret Burroughs spent years in Chicago|
Elizabeth Alexander was born in Harlem, but spent years during the early part of her career as a professor in Chicago. Allison Joseph was born in London and grew up in New York, but has spent decades now living in Carbondale, Illinois.
|jessica Care moore is from the D|
Finally, there's St. Louis, where Treasure Redmond now lives though she was born in Mississippi. Maya Angelou, Quincy Troupe, and Eugene B. Redmond were born in St. Louis. When he was young, Redmond moved with his family across the Mississippi River to East St. Louis, Illinois, where decades later Redmond befriended poet Henry Dumas, who happened to be from a town in Arkansas called Sweet Home. You may have heard of Sweet Home, as Toni Morrison uses it as the name of a plantation in her novel Beloved.
Why Poets might not write much about where they currently live