Black Poetry after the Black Arts Movement

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[by Meredith Wiggins] Some of the biggest names in African American poetry will converge on KU this summer when the Project on the History of Black Writing hosts a two-week institute on the subject of Black Poetry after the Black Arts Movement. And HBW hopes that you’ll be a part of it. Sponsored by a $156,000 grant from the National Endowment on the Humanities, the […]

Of Nature, Nation, and the Ethnic Body

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[by Jerry W. Ward, Jr.] Editor’s Note: The Project HBW Blog mostly traffics in shorter pieces, but from time to time we like to present our readers with a longer piece, as well, in a feature we call Taking the Long View.  For this installment, we feature the poetry and critical reflection of Dr. Jerry W. Ward.  To echo a famous twentieth-century statement, the mind […]

2014 Furious Flower Conference: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry

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[by Simone Savannah] There are no words—no poems–to adequately describe the experience of the Furious Flower conference.  To be there was an honor.  To hear poets read and scholars discuss was an immersion into the past and the future of African American poetry. We were treated to Rita Dove two-stepping down a Soul Train line; we stood next to Nikki Giovanni and heard Sonia Sanchez […]


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On Monday, August 25, students, faculty and staff from KU took part in a #HandsUpWalkOut Demonstration in honor of Michael Brown.  Megan Kaminski, assistant professor in the English department, organized the event.  Kaminski read an excerpt from Audre Lorde’s poem “For Each of You,” published in Lorde’s collection From a Land Where Other People Live (1973). For Each of You Be who you are and […]

Don’t Deny My Voice: Virtual Seminars and Public Access

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[By Goyland Williams] Over the past month, the Project on The History of Black Writing and Don’t Deny My Voice NEH Institute have hosted three virtual seminars on black poetry. The first webinar, moderated by Professor Opal Moore, featured award-winning poet, Nikki Giovanni. Within an hour, Giovanni covered topics ranging from black churches, music, jazz, science and technology, poetry, space, and of course, poetry. The […]

Lucille Clifton: The People’s Poet

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[By Jeff Westover] The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 (BOA Editions, 2012), edited by Kevin Young and Michael S. Glaser, makes available “all the poems Lucille Clifton published in book form during her lifetime” as well as a significant amount of her unpublished poetry (xxvii). This 769-page volume is a welcome addition to the list of Clifton’s publications, since it includes work not gathered […]

The Revolution Will Be Live: African American Literature and Spoken Word Poetry

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[By Simone Savannah] As I continue to research various poems and poetic texts, I am continuously inspired to discuss African American poetry’s impact on the public sphere as well as within Literature and the Humanities. As an African American poet who enjoys experimenting with both the written and the spoken, my research continues to examine the ways in which “the contemporary landscape of poetry reflects […]