Black Poetry: Now and in the Future

[Simone Savannah] In the tradition of black poetry and writing conferences, such as the 1966 Black Writers Conference at Fisk, the 2019 Black Poetry: A Conference served as a distinct space through which we honored the history and future of black poetry. Black Poetry was curated by Tracy K. Smith, Joshua Kotin, and Jaamil Olawale Kosoko. Smith, current U.S. Poet Laureate, is the Director of […]

In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens

“It is one of the blessings of this world that few people see visions and dream dreams.” –Zora Neale Hurston I arrived in Eatonville, Florida, in December 2018 to work as the first graduate intern for the 30th annual ZORA! Festival of the Arts and Humanities. I had crossed such a boundary—from the scholar I thought I was becoming to a hands-on practitioner– when Dr. […]

Women’s History Month: Naomi Long Madgett

         Naomi Long Madgett, Detroit Poet Laureate and founder of the Detroit-based Lotus Press, was born into the Harlem Renaissance in 1923, the same year that Jean Toomer’s genre-defying novel Cane was published. Her first book of poetry Songs to a Phantom Nightingale appeared in 1941, when she was just seventeen years old. Madgett found mentors in both Countee Cullen and Langston […]

“No Saint”

[ By:Vincent Omni] Call Walter Mosley what you may: novelist, playwright, artist, public speaker. Just don’t call him a saint. Much like Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, the troubled protagonist of his renowned mystery series, Mosley is not a devout man – that is, not in most respects. “I can’t help but believe in the soul,” the award-winning writer said during his visit to the University of […]

“If You Trusted Love This Far, Trust It All The Way”

Theatrical release poster [By: Danyelle M. Greene] “If you trusted love this far, trust it all the way.”    A review of If Beale Street Could Talk, director Barry Jenkins The December 2018 release of Oscar-nominated If Beale Street Could Talk has garnered a deserved amount of critical praise for its poetic rendering of James Baldwin’s 1974 novel. Barry Jenkins, best known for the Academy […]

Q&A: With Nikita Haynie

[By: Mona Ahmed] Nikita Haynie describes herself as a Christian, an advisor to students, and writer who published her first novel “Phases” last year.  “Phases” is a trilogy, which depicts four students navigating their freshman year of college. In my interview with Haynie, she discusses how her job and faith influenced her book’s plot and what it is like to be a black woman writing […]

Four lesser known speeches by Dr. King

[ By: DeAsia Paige]   Today we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was a civil rights leader and minister. Dr. King ’s work to eliminate racial segregation was abruptly ended when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, on the balcony of Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Although his legacy is often remembered with his famous “I Have A […]