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Celebrating the reissue of Adrienne Kennedy’s memoir

By Eric Colleary

The Harry Ransom Center celebrates the reissue of Adrienne Kennedy’s groundbreaking memoir People Who Led to My Plays from Theatre Communications Group. First published in 1987 as a response to the frequently asked question of what inspirations have influenced her work, Kennedy recorded brief, fragmentary memories covering 1936–1961. A deeply influential and radically innovative kind of memoir, novelist Ishmael Reed called these glimpses into her life “a new form of black autobiography.” Read more

African American artists and writers in the Limited Editions Club

By Peter Mears

The stories I selected span three decades and show (Zora Neal) Hurston’s diversity in writing styles and subject matter. I created my illustrations from fragments of fabric, paper and faded photos. The layering of images, patterns and textures evoke the feeling of memory and old tales retold. So they become, like the stories, “Bookmarks in the Pages of Life.”—Betye Saar, artist’s afterword to Bookmarks in the Pages of Life Read more

Caroling Dusk, An Anthology of Verse by Negro Poets

By Danielle Brune Sigler

This is the last of a three-part series of posts highlighting the influence and work of Countée Cullen, a poet and editor during the Harlem Renaissance.

 

Cullen used the special issue of Palms as a springboard for a book-length anthology. Caroling Dusk, An Anthology of Verse by Negro Poets, was published by Harper & Brothers in 1927 and featured decorations by artist Aaron Douglas. Read more

Countée Cullen and “The Negro Number” of Palms

By Danielle Brune Sigler

This is the second of a three-part series of posts highlighting the influence and work of Countée Cullen, a poet and editor during the Harlem Renaissance.

 

In the mid-1920s anthologies of African American writing found a receptive audience in the United States and abroad. The poetry magazine Palms embraced the trend and invited Countée Cullen to serve as guest editor of its “Negro Poets’ Number.” Read more