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Legacy Conversations

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Established in 2001, Legacy Conversations feature pre-eminent poets and scholars who have played historic roles in African American poetry. Moderated discussions address historical, aesthetic, political and personal influences on their craft and thought. Programs include brief readings, Q&A and book signings.

Recordings of Legacy Conversations are archived at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, housed in the James Weldon Johnson Collection. In the near future, they may be accessed via hyperlinks to an on-line library catalog.

Fall 2017

Chris Abani and Kelly Norman Ellis
July 11, 7 pm
Poetry Foundation
61 W. Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60654

Join us for an evening of conversation between literary lights Chris Abani and Kelly Norman Ellis. Abani is the author of seven collections of poetry, including Sanctificum, a nominee for the Griffin Poetry Prize; six novels, including Graceland, winner of the 2005 PEN/Hemingway Prize; and is a member of the editorial board for the African Poetry Book Fund. Ellis, a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, is the author of Tougaloo Blues (Third World Press, 2003) and Offerings of Desire (Willow Books, 2012), which Nikky Finney calls “so rich with black zest and drylongso that each page sets high our thirst for all that is human, longed for and inexplicable.” Fellow CM Burroughs will moderate the conversation. Free and open to the public. Refreshments served.


Angela Jackson & Ed Roberson, 2016

Nikki Giovanni, 2012

Steve Cannon, 2010

Ntozake Shange,  2009

Ishmael Reed and Al Young, 2008

Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady, 2007

Charles Henry Rowell, 2007

Arnold Rampersad, 2007

Naomi Long Madgett, 2006

Ethelbert Miller, 2006

Amiri Baraka, 2005

Derek Walcott, 2005

Haki Madhubuti, 2004

Lorenzo Thomas, 2004

Michael S. Harper & Afaa Michael Weaver, 2003

Rita Dove, 2003

Jayne Cortez and Sekou Sundiata, 2002

Yusef Komunyakaa, 2001

Lucille Clifton and Sonia Sanchez, 2001