H08 - 
A Dream Deferred: African American Poetry in the 20th Century
  In 2011 Penguin's Anthology of American Poetry appeared. This was the first edition of the venerable canon-making collection edited by an African-American, and by a woman, Rita Dove. The break with precedent shows. Not only are the expected poets here--Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks--but many previously un-canonized poets appear also--Lucille Clifton, Carl Phillips, Cornelius Eddy, and Natasha Tretheway, to name only a few. Placed in the company of Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, and Richard Wilbur, these African-American writers indicate not only how much of America's poetic history is still to be recovered, but what resonates on both sides when official White voices sound with not quite-official Black ones. We will read a selection from the African American writers and a few of the standard anthologies pieces by White writers to ground our discussion of Langston Hughes' still unanswered question, "What happens to a dream deferred."
Harvard University
1/17/2019, 1/28/2019