Back to Blog

Wake County Library Hosts Month-Long Celebration of Black Poetry

The Wake County Library system is hosting several virtual events associated with the newly published anthology: Lift Every Voice: African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song. The series kicked-off on January 23 with a panel discussion between Lenard Moore and Darrell Stover.

Lift Every Voice: A Nationwide Celebration of African American Poetry is nationwide program presented by the Library of America, in partnership with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Upcoming programs include:

    • Sunday, February 14, 2:00 pm, “An Afternoon with Jaki Shelton Green”
    • Wednesday, February 17 and 24, 6:30 pm, “Oral Traditions: Storytelling” with Willa Brigham
    • Thursday, February 25, 6:30 pm, “Write It: the Art of Haiku”

For the full slate, click here.

Taking the measure of the tradition in a single indispensable volume, African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song, edited by Kevin Young, sets a new standard for a genuinely deep engagement with Black poetry and its essential expression of American genius.

“In this landmark volume, clocking in at a whopping 1170 pages, one of our most talented contemporary poets presents the most ambitious anthology of Black poetry ever published,” says Adrienne Westenfeld of Esquire, who named the anthology among her “Best Books of 2020.” “Beginning in 1770 and culminating in the artistic outpouring emerging through the Black Lives Matter movement, Young spotlights 250 important poets, each situated in an incisive historical and literary framework. Young also takes care to spotlight poetic movements and writing collectives, tracing the influence of creatives on the development of other creatives.”

Wake County Public Libraries is honored to be chosen as the only grant recipient in North Carolina for this nationwide celebration of the 250-year-long African American poetic tradition.

To learn more about the program, and access educational resources, click here.