ICYMI: The Last Week in Black Writing and Culture (6/4-6-10)

KU professor John Edgar Tidwell spoke about Langston  Hughes’s unpublished story, “Seven People Dancing”: “This is a very interesting piece because it provides us new information to ponder as we seek to interrogate Hughes’ complexity in the early 1960s…As for the modernist features in the short story, Tidwell said there are subtle shifts in narrative viewpoint, including a paragraph where the white woman character Joan describes herself and explains what she is doing.”

Check out the live tweeting of the “Space and Place in Africana/Black Studies” conference hosted by Purdue University. #NEHBlackspace. HBW’s very own Kenton Rambsy presented his research on text-mining. 

Muhammad Ali, world renowned boxer, died Friday at the age of 74. Apart from boxing, Ali was known for his poetry, predicting in which round he would knock out his opponent. His death came less than two months after the death of Prince Rogers Nelson. Look out for a tribute to Prince coming soon.

Annalisa Quinn reviewed The Hatred of Poetry by Ben Lerner. Lerner argues that we expect too much from poetry, and this “inevitable failure of poems to live up to their sublime promise generates a kind of contempt.”

Kwame Dawes spoke on directing the African Poetry Book Fund. Dawes founded the project after noticing that there were no publishers exclusively dedicated to publishing African poets.
Harry Belafonte spoke on how one trip to Africa in the early 80s changed his life. It wasn’t the trip itself, Belafonte said, but witnessing famine and drought while the rest of the world sat by with indifference. 
The New York Post is excited about these 10 books for this summer and fall.
Isabel Wilkerson reviewed Yaa Giasi’s Homegoing, about the effects of slavery on family and lineage. In the novel, two half sisters are separated at birth and sold into slavery and remain unaware of each other and the six generations that follow each sister.

Dr. Maryemma Graham wrote on the remake of Roots in “Roots: The Good, Bad, and Ugly.”

Carol Memmott of the Washington Post reviewed Terry McMillan’s newest novel, I Almost Forgot about You.