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Friday, October 30, 2015

POETRY EVENT - Washington, D.C.

Togolese writer Anas Atakora will read selections from his work and participate in a moderated discussion with Marieta Harper, Africa Area Specialist in the African and Middle Eastern Division. This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division, and presented in partnership with the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa, the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
Location: African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room, LJ-220, Thomas Jefferson Building 
Contact: (202) 707-5394
Click here for more information.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

POETRY event - chicago


Poetry off the Shelf: Patricia Smith and Reginald Dwayne Betts

Tuesday, November 10, 7:00 PM
Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Free admission
Patricia Smith is the author of six books of poetry, including Blood Dazzler (2008), a chronicle of the human and environmental cost of Hurricane Katrina which was nominated for a National Book Award and Teahouse of the Almighty, a 2005 National Poetry Series selection. Reginald Dwayne Betts is author of the poetry collections Shahid Reads His Own Palm (2010), and Bastards of the Reagan Era (2015).

read this POEM OUT LOUD

The Thinker

William Carlos Williams


James David Corrothers was born in Michigan in 1869. He was raised by his grandfather until he passed away in 1885 ,when Corrothers was 16.

Two years later in 1887, Corrothers moved to Chicago, where through the persuasion of journalist, Henry Demarest Lloyd, who had read some of his poetry, he was hired by the Chicago Tribune as a writer.

In 1902 , Corrothers collected his most important poems and articles and published them in an anthology called The Black Cat Club. This publication established him as a major literary figure.

When he died in 1917, James David Corrothers was considered one of the leading Black literary figures in the nation.

To read a more detailed bio and sample his work GOOGLE his name

Monday, October 26, 2015

POETRY EVENT -chicago - this WEEK


Claudia Rankine: "An American Lyric"

Saturday, October 31, 2:00 PM
Northwestern University
School of Law
Thorne Auditorium
375 East Chicago Avenue
Tickets available at
Claudia Rankine’s Citizen (2014) is an indictment of contemporary times. Using a poetic frame, the poet uncovers an insidious racism embedded in the everyday – from the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, to the lecture halls of the ivory tower. As Rankine’s observations move from bewilderment to disappointment to quiet ire, Citizen leaves readers unsettled, moved, and changed with every page.


Claudia Rankine’sCitizen: Poetry in Performance

Saturday, October 31, 7:30 PM
Museum of Contemporary Art
Edlis Neeson Theater
220 East Chicago Avenue
Tickets available at
As the country continues to reel from unending stories of police brutality and violence, hip-hop historian Jeff Chang(Can’t Stop Won’t Stop), jazz musician David Boykin, sound artist Christine Hume, scholar Lauren Berlant, and poetRoger Reeves, among others join Claudia Rankine for a powerful performance that reflects on race in the United States today.


Jacqueline Woodson:Brown Girl Dreaming

Sunday, November 1, 2:00 PM
First United Methodist Church
77 West Washington Street
Tickets available for free at
Jacqueline Woodson takes to the stage for a conversation about her life and influences. Brown Girl Dreaming (2014), Woodson’s memoir in verse, is a rich, poignant description of life as a black child in the 1960s. Her memoir has won both a National Book Award for Young People and the Newbery Honor. In 2015, Woodson was named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

poetry EVENT - Chicago


Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: Poetry in Performance

Saturday, October 31, 7:30PM
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Edlis Neeson Theater
220 East Chicago Avenue
Tickets available at

Claudia Rankine: "An American Lyric"

Saturday, October 31, 2:00PM
Northwestern University School of Law
Thorne Auditorium
375 East Chicago Avenue
Tickets available at


Jacqueline Woodson: Brown Girl Dreaming

Sunday, November 1, 2:00 PM
First United Methodist Church
77 West Washington Street
Free tickets available at

Saturday, October 17, 2015

celebrate BLACK POETRY

Today we celebrate Black Poetry Day in honor of Jupiter Hammon, who is believed to be the first African American to publish poetry in the United States. He was born into slavery in Long Island, New York on October 17, 1711.
His poem “An Evening Thought” was first published on Christmas Day at the age of 49. Hammon is considered one of the founders of African-American literature.
In honor of Hammon’s birth, we celebrate the contributions of all African Americans to the world of poetry. Some of the most notable are Langston Hughes, Phyllis Wheatley, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Maya Angelou.

It’s no surprise that many of the early poems by African Americans spoke of overcoming struggles and hardship, often with encouragement and a look to a brighter future.
One of my favorites is by Langston Hughes, “I Too Am America.” 

I, Too

by Langston Hughes
written in 1932
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—
I, too, am America.

How will you celebrate this day?

1. Look up and reflect on the meaning of poems written by African Americans. See a list of a few at and at
2. You don’t have to be an African American to write a poem of encouragement, telling how you overcame something in your life or celebrating freedom. Try your hand at a poem now. 
3. Learn about the Harlem Renaissance, a period after World War I when many Blacks migrated North. During this period,  Black poet and writers openly celebrated their history and contributions and opened the doors for many other Black writers to share and be recognized for their work.      


                                                      JUPITER HAMMON

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

poetry NEWS


Black Poetry Day is celebrated annually on October 17.
Pick up some poetry written by black poets and use #BlackPoetryDay to post on social media.

Monday, October 12, 2015

poetry NEWS

Dawn Lundy Martin to Guest Edit PEN Poetry Series!

Dawn Lundy Martin
This just in: Dawn Lundy Martin will be guest editing PEN Poetry Series, starting in October. Yesterday, they posted a new poem by Martin, from “Good Stock”–check it out here. Martin’s newest book,Life in a Box Is a Pretty Life (Nightboat Books 2015) was recently reviewed at Emerson’s Ploughshares. An excerpt:
The book as a whole engages artist Carrie Mae Weems’s “Framed by Modernism,” a series of photographs that critiques the relationship of male artist and female model while at the same time reproducing it: a critique that acknowledges its weird complicity in what it analyzes. Once we realize that we are marching our bodies through socially scripted performances, do we then have a chance of freeing ourselves? Lundy does not take it for granted that we do. When she declares that “A boy is not a body. A boy is a walk”—that “boyness” is not an essence, not an inalterable natural fact, but a performance—a liberating possibility opens. But realizing the possibility can be elusive…
We’re looking forward to the possibilities at PEN!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

challenge twenty-nine

Write a poem in which your current self meets your future self.  What advice or warnings would you feel compelled to offer yourself.?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


AMIRI BARAKA was born Everett LeRoi Jones on this day in Newark, New Jersey. He was a poet, writer, teacher, and political activist.

His first book of poems "Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note,"  was published in 1961.

He was the author of numerous books of poetry during his writing career which spanned nearly 50 years. His themes ranged form Black liberation to White racism.

Baraka's poetry and writing has attracted both extreme praise and condemnation.

In July 2002, Baraka was named Poet Laureate of New Jersey.

Amiri Baraka died in 2014. He is recognized as one of the most respected and widely published Black writers of his generation.

To read his life and times, and sample his poetry and writings GOOGLE his name.