Home: Place, Flight, & Memory | November-December 2023

Rita Dove

Rita Dove served as poet laureate of the United States (1993 to 1995), and as poet laureate of Virginia (2004-2006). She is the author of eleven collections of poetry, including Playlist for the Apolcalypse (2021), which won an NAACP Image Award and the Pulitzer Prize winning Thomas and Beulah (1986), as well as a book of short stories, a novel, and numerous essays. She has received countless awards and honors, such as a Library of Virginia's Lifetime Achievement Award. President Bill Clinton presented her with a National Humanities Medal and President Barack Obama presented her with a National Medal of Arts, making Dove the only poet to have received both distinctions. In 2022, Dove was awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize in Poetry for lifetime achievement from the Library of Congress. Dove is the Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing at University of Virginia.

Terrance Hayes

Terrance Hayes is the author of multiple award winning poetry collections, most recently, So to Speak (2023). His poetry has been featured in multiple editions of Best American Poetry. A professor of English at New York University, Hayes has received fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. His books have won awards such as the National Book Award, the Pegasus Award, the Whiting Writers Award, and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, among others. In 2023, Hayes won Troy University's Hall-Waters Prize. 

Langston Hughes

One of the most well-known poets of the twentieth century, Langston Hughes wrote over 800 poems, several works of prose, and eleven plays. His work includes The Weary Blues (1926) and a “First Book” children’s series. He coedited the The Poetry of the Negro, 1746–1949 (1949) and edited The Book of Negro Folklore (1958). Hughes has received multiple posthumous awards, and received a Witter Bynner Undergraduate Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award during his lifetime. His novel, Not Without Laughter (1930), won the Harmon gold medal for literature. 

Quan Barry

Quan Barry is the author of eight books of fiction and poetry, including We Ride Upon Sticks (2020) and Loose Strife (2015). Her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Missouri Review, The New Yorker, Southeast Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among others. Barry is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is the recipient of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, the Donald Hall Prize in Poetry, and an Alex Award. A member of the Dramatists Guild, Barry is one of the only writers who has received NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction.

Joy Priest

Joy Priest is the author of Horsepower (2020), winner of the Donald Hall Prize for Poetry, and editor of Once a City Said: A Louisville Poets Anthology (2023). Her work has been featured in The Atlantic, The Nation, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. Priest is an Assistant Professor of African American / African Diaspora Poetry and  Curator of Community Programs & Praxis at the Center for African American Poetry & Poetics at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Fine Arts Work Center fellowship, the Imprint Paul Verlaine Prize in Poetry, and the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize.   

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of Strut (2018), Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (2015), and Karma’s Footsteps (2011), as well as the award-winning children’s book, Layla’s Happiness (2019). Her work has appeared in anthologies such as Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry, The Golden Shovel Anthology, and Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam, among others. Tallie is the recipient of a 2010 grant from the Queens Council on the Arts, and from 2013 to 2017 she served as the poetry editor of African Voices. She is also the subject of the short film, “I Leave My Colors Everywhere.” She is currently pursuing a PhD in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University.

Ntozake Shange

Poet and playwright, Ntozake Shange (1948-2018) is primarily known for her play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf (1975), which received an Obie Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the AUDELCO Award, as well as Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award nominations. Her other works include novels such as Sassafrass, Cypress, and Indigo (1982) and Betsey Brown (1985), and poetry collections such as Wild Beauty: New and Selected Poems (2017) and I Live in Music (1994). She taught for several universities, while also working as a performer and director. Shange received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund, and a Pushcart Prize.

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