Poetry Month Reading Recommendations

[ By Brendan Williams-Childs ] April is National Poetry Month. The sun is out, the temperature is finally above freezing, there are even some flowers in bloom. Spring is finally here! And what better way to appreciate the warming days than by finding your favorite sunspot and reading some poetry?  Not sure where to start with poetry? Looking to expand your poetry palate? Or just […]

AN HBW GEM: Naomi Long Madgett

In 2017, HBW staff member Morgan McComb [2017-2019] spent extensive time with acclaimed poet, editor and educator Naomi Long-Madgett for our GEMS project. Created in 2013, GEMS is an initiative created to bring increased awareness to important but often lesser-known Black writers and their work. McComb traveled to Southfield, Michigan, to interview Madgett. That interview became the basis of a video tribute to Madgett, which is available here. […]

Lorenzo Thomas (1944-2005)

[Jerry W. Ward Jr.] Lorenzo Thomas (1944-2005) As I reread a few of Lorenzo Thomas’s essays and poems, I recall  the first line of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” —      “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving                hysterical naked….” The single word in the beginning of Ginsberg’s semi-autobiographical, derivative tribute to Walt Whitman […]

A Conversation with Sharan Strange

This interview is part of Black Poetry of the Black Arts Movement, an institute sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and under the auspices of Project on the History of Black Writing at the University of Kansas. Webinar with poet Sharan Strange conducted October 28, 2015. #NationalPoetryMonth

Strong Readers Reading the Difficult Long Poem

A metronome does not measure the pleasure of reading a long poem. The pleasure exists, outside of time, in a reader’s total aesthetic experience of bringing something to the poem and taking away much more than she or he arrived with. Only strong readers survive, and some of them opt to transform knowledge gained into actions. Others hoard their intellectual wealth. In American time-and-capital-driven cultures […]

Celebrating National Poetry Month

Here at HBW we are kicking off National Poetry Month! Check out this newest piece from Jerry W. Ward, Jr. Salvo for American Poetry Month Nikki Giovanni’s persona poem “Phillis Wheatley” is the foreword to Richard Kigel’s Heav’nly Tidings from the Afric Muse: The Grace and Genius of Phillis Wheatley (St. Paul, MN: Paragon House, 2017). The poem is typical of Giovanni’s recent work, plain words in economic stanzas, and noticeably in opposition […]