Past Event

Poet of the People: The Greatness of Langston Hughes

February 18, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Online Event

Library of America Program featuring Brent Hayes Edwards

Poet of the People: The Greatness of Langston Hughes
Thursday, February 18
6:00–7:00 pm ET

One hundred years ago Langston Hughes published his now-famous first poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” In the decades that followed, as both a longtime resident of Harlem and a cosmopolitan world traveler, Hughes wrote of Black life in masterful, deceptively simple poems and prose that made him one of the most popular and influential writers of the twentieth century.

Join Brent Hayes Edwards, Director of the Schomburg Center’s Scholars-in-Residence Program and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and Rafia Zafar, Professor of English and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis and editor of Library of America’s two-volume collection of Harlem Renaissance novels, for a conversation about Hughes’s greatness and his centrality for American literature and the culture of the global African diaspora. Featuring readings by poets Kevin Young and Tyehimba Jess.




This program is part of LOA LIVE, Library of America’s series of online programs featuring distinguished writers, historians, and literary scholars discussing timely topics and themes inspired by writings in the authoritative Library of America series. The free presentations are attended by viewers in all 50 states and 44 other countries around the globe. Learn more and view past programs at

Contact Information

Pamela Rodman