PORTSMOUTH – Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet Jericho Brown is the guest poet for the finale of the African American poetry series, "The Black Matter Is Life: Poetry for Engagement and Overcoming". The virtual event, presented by Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire, is Thurs., January 21 at 5:00 p.m.

“In the wake of our nation’s current unrest, this program is designed to build bridges across the racial divide by introducing the audience to the writings of a number of African American poets whose work shines a light on a rich cultural heritage that has often gone unexplored,” said JerriAnne Boggis, Executive Director of the BHTNH. “This program asks the audience to consider African American poetry as a tool towards healing our nation’s deep racial wounds.”


This closing program is devoted to the most fundamental of human experiences, love. The theme, “Love, Love, Love” will explore how African American poetry shows that love is possible despite racism and injustice. The discussion will focus on a selection of poems by George Moses Horton, Gwendolyn Brooks, Nikki Giovanni, and guest poet Jericho Brown. Brown is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing and the Director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University in Atlanta. His first book, Please, won the American book award and his most recent book, The Tradition won the Pulitzer prize. A poem from Nashua’s Public Library’s poetry writing collaboration will close the event.

The Trail’s website has links to the poems, a study guide, registration, and information on how poets can connect with Nashua Public Library.

Dr. Britton is an Associate Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire, Durham where he teaches courses on Shakespeare and Medieval and Renaissance British Literature. Dr. Wilburn is an Associate Professor of English specializing in African American literature and culture, Milton, and intertextuality studies also at UNH, Durham.

The January conversation is the third in a series. In November, the theme was Signifyin(g) on a Tradition with guest poet Lynn Thompson and poems by Phillis Wheatley, Lawrence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, and Sonia Sanchez. With guest poet Patricia Smith, and the theme “In Protest,” the second discussion in December focused on poems by James Weldon Johnson, Audre Lorde, Danez Smith, and Elizabeth Alexander.

For more information, visit https://blackheritagetrailnh.org/the-black-matter-is-life, email info@blackheritagetrailnh.org, or call 603-570-8469.


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