What are Langston's lessons? An examination of the work of Langston Hughes will help you learn more about America. It will help you explore the tough tapestry of race. His work will make you look into the mirror and see yourself. Are you ready? Who was this man who taught us how to dream? The life and work of Langston Hughes echoes the social transformation of America from the 1920s to the early 1960s. How did he put blues and jazz into his words? What was his secret? Come dance with the dreamer and discover how he changed literature.
Patricia Spears Jones will discuss the life and work of Lorenzo Thomas (1944-2005), a pivotal figure in the Black Arts Movement and author of such poetry books as Chances are Few and Dancing on Main Street.
Robert Bly will open the 2006 People’s Poetry Gathering with a presentation about the role poetry plays in world languages, literature, and cultural understanding. He will read and discuss his poetry and translations.
The People’s Poetry Gathering was co-founded by Poets House and City Lore in 1999 and co-produced in 1999, 2001, and 2003. Poets House is pleased to co-sponsor this year’s keynote address. See www.peoplespoetry.org for a full schedule.
At each stage of his tumultuous life, Neruda wrote poems as chronicles, explaining his poetry and politics. He also wrote poems about the mysterious power of poetry itself, a power fully embraced in Chilean culture. In his talk Martín Espada will focus on the evolution of Neruda as a political poet, his struggle and exile at the hands of his own government, his triumphant return, his death in the wake of the military coup, and his redemption after democracy returned to Chile.