Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Notebook on Black Poetry After the Black Arts Movement

Institute director, Maryemma Graham reads Tyehimba Jess's Leadbelly

The NEH-funded Institute, Black Poetry After the Black Arts Movement "responds to the resurgence of interest in contemporary poetry, its expanded production and wide circulation." During the institute:
Special attention will be paid to the divergent and yet cross-fertilizing trajectories of black poetry since the 1980s, which has produced both the sharp and vocal critiques of spoken word poetry and the refined academic poetry that garners so much critical attention from the literary establishment.
The Institute director is Maryemma Graham, and the scholar and poet Evie Shockley and I served as lead resident faculty members for the Institute. I covered week 1, and Shockley is covering week 2. Presenters for the Institute include Tyehimba Jess, Brenda Marie Osbey, James Smethurst, Kathy Lou Schultz, William J. Harris, Harryette Mullen, Joanne Gabbin, Meta DuEwa Jones, Jerry W. Ward, Frank X. Walker, and Kevin Young.

Most notably, the Institute brought together an eclectic group of scholars, artists, and cultural workers to read, study, listen to, and talk about black poetry and consider ways to advance the field and their pedagogical interests. Now that my officials duties for week 1 are complete, I'll try to provide a few write-ups and reflections on  my involvement with the project.

A convergence of scholars, artists, and scholar-artists
Black Poetry and the History Section: a partial list
The Race for History Among Contemporary Black Poets, Pt.1
The Race for History Among Contemporary Black Poets, Pt. 2
Kent Foreman, Tyehimba Jess, and the histories of spoken poetry
A poetry room of their own 
Paratexts and the Race for History Among Contemporary Black Poets
Black Poetry after BAM (NEH Institute)

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