CHESTERTOWN — Gwendolyn Brooks was America’s first African American poet laureate, as well as the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize.
Terrance Hayes has won the National Book Award and a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award, among other acclamations for his poetry.
Both will be celebrated on Nov. 1 and 2 at the Rose O’Neill Literary House, in a two-day event to honor the past and the present of poetry in America.
Hayes will read from his work at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1 at the Lit House. The event celebrating Brooks, 100 years after her birth in 1917, will be held at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2 also at the Lit House.
Both events are free and open to the public. At the second event, Hayes will also discuss the influence Brooks’ work and legacy has had on his poetry.
One of the most compelling voices in American poetry, Hayes is the author of five books of poetry. He has been a recipient of many other honors and awards, including two Pushcart selections, eight Best American Poetry selections and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.
His poems have appeared in literary journals and magazines including The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Fence, The Kenyon Review, Jubilat, Harvard Review and Poetry. His poetry has also been featured on PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
Gwendolyn Brooks was born in 1917. In this, the 100th year since her birth, we celebrate the former poet laureate and the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize, for “Annie Allen,” her second book of poems.
She wrote 20 books of poetry, publishing her first, “A Street in Bronzeville” in 1945. She also authored a novel, two autobiographies and books for children.
Her musicality, mastery of tone, gift with received forms like sonnets and insistence on writing about marginalized people make Brooks one of our most important and relevant poets.
Participants are welcome to bring and read a poem inspired by Brooks, or to read one of their favorites of hers.
Hayes will also attend and talk about the influence Brooks had on his work as well as how he developed the form “the golden shovel” based on her work.
For more information on this and other English Department and Sophie Kerr events, visit the website at www.washcoll.edu/depart ments/english/events.php, or view the annual Literary Events Calendar brochure here by visting www.washcoll.edu/live/files/7406-2017-2018.
For more information on the Literary House, visit www.washcoll.edu/centers/lithouse/.