A few days after their first visit, Professor Kathryn Bentley returned to the Redmond Reading Room with a group of her students to record a choral reading of Robert Hayden's poem "Runagate Runagate."
I had read Hayden's poem for years, but experienced it anew when I heard the performance by Bentley and her crew. Here's an excerpt of their reading.
From Hayden's "Rungatate Runagate"
"Rise and go or fare you well
No more auction block for meno more driver's lash for meIf you see my Pompey, 30 yrs of age,new breeches, plain stockings, negro shoes;if you see my Anna, likely young mulattobranded E on the right cheek, R on the left,catch them if you can and notify subscriber.Catch them if you can, but it won't be easy.They'll dart underground when you try to catch them,plunge into quicksand, whirlpools, mazes,turn into scorpions when you try to catch them.
And before I'll be a slave I'll be buried in my grave