About the institute

Black Poetry after the Black Arts Movement

When: July 19 - August 1, 2015

Where: University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

This is an invitation to participate and to extend a dialogue that illuminates the tensions between movements that seek to define black poetry since the 1960s. Resisting easy categories and dichotomies, we want to demonstrate flows and cross fertilizations to establish the continuity of black poetry even as writers become more attuned to new ways of comprehending and expressing the human experience.

As an NEH Summer Scholar, you will have many opportunities for learning—seminars, workshops, films, panel discussions, group presentations—for becoming attuned to what contemporary poetry is and what it does; and for building lasting relationships with other educators and scholars.

Black Poetry after the Black Arts Movement will be held in Lawrence, Kansas, the center of America’s heartland, near Kansas City, the crossroads not only for American blues and jazz, but for America’s many peoples and cultures.

The stipend for this two-week Institute will be $2,100 for each NEH Summer Scholar, to help cover travel, housing and food. Half of this amount will be distributed upon your arrival for the Institute at the University of Kansas. The remainder will be distributed after successful completion of the Institute. Stipends are taxable.

Note: NEH Summer Scholars are required to attend all meetings and to engage fully in the work of the Institute. During the Institute’s tenure, they may not undertake teaching assignments or any other professional activities unrelated to their Institute participation. NEH Summer Scholars who, for any reason, do not complete the full tenure of the Institute must refund a pro-rated portion of the stipend.

What You Can Expect to Gain From This Institute

The ability to refine and refocus three concepts: climate, community, and culture by asking:

This invitation is as timely as the Institute itself. The Furious Flower Poetry Center has just concluded the third and largest gathering of African American poets ever at James Madison University. Perhaps more importantly Madeleine LeCesne, an eighteen-year old senior at Lusher High School in New Orleans was selected as a 2014 National Student Poet, a program established in 2013 by the President’s Commission on the Arts and Humanities. We know African American poetry is alive and well and is amply rewarded, but we want to connect the intellectual space that black poetry occupies more closely with a meaningful place in our pedagogical practice.

Again, we will have resident and visiting faculty who are the leading scholars in the field, who are joined by poets and practitioners on site and in our subsequent webinars.

The Project on the History of Black Writing is now in its 34th year, and we continue to work with scholars and a wide range of reading communities, engaging in archival research, digital, print and professional development activities.

We invite you to join us for a two-week immersion experience, where you will be exposed to innovative scholarship with resident and visiting faculty who are leading the field of black poetry studies. Together with poets and practitioners on site and in our subsequent webinars, you will find many collaborative opportunities for advancing your research. Our major goals for “Black Poetry after the Black Arts Movement” are:

  1. to assist you in sifting through the densely populated and diverse field of African American poetry
  2. to create a community more receptive to reading, teaching, analyzing and interpreting African American poetry
  3. to use appropriate technologies and digital media to foster greater engagement with contemporary poetry among the larger reading and writing community

We hope you will join us as an NEH Summer Scholar looking not only to receive new knowledge, but also to become actively involved in the creation of much needed resources for the benefit of the wider human community.