Institute will host 25 educators to delve into African-American poetry

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

LAWRENCE — A group of 25 college and university teachers from across the U.S. will spend two weeks at the University of Kansas learning about African-American poetry during the last 50 years, from 1960 to the present.

The educators were selected to take part in a federally funded institute hosted and organized by KU, called Black Poetry after the Black Arts Movement. The title refers to the artistic movement that accompanied the Black Power Movement of the 1960s and the poetry that has been produced since. The group will visit campus July 19 to Aug. 1.

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. During the 2015-16 academic year the program will also host a series of online, public discussions with a prominent group of intergenerational and award-winning poets, including Sonia Sanchez, Nikky Finney, Kwame Dawes, Nathaniel Mackey, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Jessica Care Moore, Jericho Brown, Thomas Sayers Ellis and Sharan Strange.

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 and The Commons.

College and university teachers selected for the institute are listed below by school city and school name. Four of the participants are current graduate students.

List of NEH Summer Scholars and home institutions:

  • Bartholomew Brinkman, Framingham State University, Framingham, Massachusetts
  • Laura Vrana, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Cameron Leader-Picone, Kansas State University, Manhattan
  • Candice Pitts, Albany State University, Albany, Georgia
  • Claire Schwartz, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Cynthia King, University of North Texas at Dallas, Dallas
  • Deborah Mix, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
  • Dennis Lopez, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach, California
  • Derik Smith, University of Albany, Albany, New Yrok
  • Georgene Montgomery, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta
  • J. Peter (Pete) Moore, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • James Donahue, SUNY Potsdam, Potsdam, New York
  • Jene Schoenfeld, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio
  • Joycelyn Moody, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio
  • Keisha Watson, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Kevin Quashie, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts
  • Laura Smith, Stevenson University, Stevenson, Maryland
  • Michael New, Keene State College, Keene, New Hampshire
  • Monifa Love, Bowie State University, Bowie, Maryland
  • P. Gabrielle Foreman, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
  • Richard Schur, Drury University, Springfield, Missouri
  • Sequoia Maner, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
  • Tamera Hollins, Cheyney University, Cheyney, Pennsylvania
  • Tara Betts, Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York
  • Tara Green, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina

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.

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