KU to host readings, discussions about black poetry

Monday, July 20, 2015

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will stage a series of public poetry readings and discussions as part of an institute on black poetry.

The events are an extension of the Black Poetry after the Black Arts Movement institute taking place on the Lawrence campus over the next two weeks. A group of 25 college and university teachers from across the U.S. was selected for the federally funded institute, hosted and organized by KU’s Project on the History of Black Writing. The title refers to the artistic movement that accompanied the Black Power Movement of the 1960s and the poetry produced since.

Events will feature discussions and performances by KU faculty, guest scholars and poets. The events are free and open to the public.

  • “Poetry and Its Futures,” 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 21, The Commons, Lawrence campus
    An opening panel of distinguished poets and literary scholars will forecast probable trajectories for poetry in the 21st century. A reception and book signing will follow. Selected titles by the panelists will be available for purchase.
  • Poetry reading featuring Kevin Young, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 22, Black Archives of Mid-America, 1722 E. 17th Terrace, Kansas City, Missouri.
  • Taproom Poetry Series Featuring William J. Harris and Evie Shockley, 5 p.m. July 26, Eighth Street Taproom, 801 New Hampshire St.
  • Poetry reading featuring Harryette Mullen and Meta DuEwa Jones, 7 p.m. July 30, The Raven Book Store, 6 E. Seventh St.

For more details about the public events and the institute itself, visit the Black Poetry after the Black Arts Movement website.

The institute is part of a 15-month program funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to KU’s Project on the History of Black Writing.

Maryemma Graham, University Distinguished Professor of English, directs the institute. KU co-sponsors include the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; Department of English; Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center; KU Center for Research; Office of the Provost; Office of the Chancellor; Office of Multicultural Affairs and The Commons. Other sponsors include the Black Archives of Mid-America. 

The Project on the History of Black Writing is located in the Department of English, a unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at KU. For the last 30 years, HBW has been engaged in researching and recovering black writers and their works and has sponsored 15 publicly funded projects with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities.