Black Poetry after the Black Arts Movement: A Closer Look

[by Kristin Joi Coffey]

The Project on the History of Black Writing is excited to announce our 2015 Summer Institute, Black Poetry after the Black Arts Movement, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Annually, the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Division of Education funds a variety of summer institutes for educators. This year, Black Poetry continues the work undertaken by our 2013 institute, Don’t Deny My Voice: Reading and Teaching African American Poetry, and gives more focused attention to a reassessment of African American poetry from 1960 to the present.


Through seminars, presentations, and panel discussions, summer scholars can expect to take part in the evolving discourse surrounding the changing conditions in the climate of poetry production, the challenges of poetry in the digital world, and the relationship between the poet and audiences. Resident faculty members Evie Shockley and Howard Rambsy II are joined by a host of leading scholars and poets, including: Nikky Finney, James E. Smethurst, Joanne Gabbin, Frank X Walker, Harryette Mullen, Ed Pavlic, and Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

Keen attention will be paid to the divergent and yet cross-fertilizing trajectories of black poetry since the 1980s, which has produced both the sharp and vocal critiques of spoken word poetry and the refined academic poetry that garners so much critical attention from the literary establishment.

Summer Scholars will be awarded $2,100 stipends to help cover housing, travel costs, and research expenses. Adjunct faculty, community college faculty, and first-time participants are encouraged to apply.

The Institute will be held July 19th – August 1st, 2015. The deadline for applications is March 2nd, 2015. Please see for more information.