Langston Hughes’ poems, dating from the Harlem Renaissance through the 1960’s, continue to resonate today. These powerful, poignant, and often amusing works are read aloud by members of the community, accompanied by Manny Escobar + Leland Baker. Coordinated by the Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading Reading Committee.
The Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading (LHCPR) has an important history within the Rhode Island community. The LHCPR was conceived as a program of the Langston Hughes Center for the Arts and Education in 1994 under the leadership of Anne Edmonds Clanton until 2015. The RISD Museum has hosted the readings since 1995. After the dissolution of the arts center in 1999, The RISD Museum felt that the LHCPR was so important to the museum and to the community it continued as the venue until recently. Several members of the Rhode Island and Southeastern New England community felt the LHCPR was so important that in 2015, a group of personally committed individuals formed the LHCPR committee to ensure the continued success of the annual poetry reading and created events related to the mission of the reading. The secondary goal of the committee is to program and support continued community outreach to keep the reading a vibrant and well-attended event.
The Haus of Glitter Dance Company + Performance Lab (part of the Glitter Goddess Collective) is honored to be producing this year’s 26th Annual Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading. Even though we tend to express ourselves primarily through physical movement, for us, Langston’s legacy is a movement in itself. His poetry is in lineage with our ancestral tradition of expression, truth-telling, deep feeling, and dismantling. The Haus of Glitter would not exist without Langston Hughes. We are humbled by this invitation to carry on his legacy and we are so excited to hold space for our community to remember, dream and wake up with resilience and care for each other. With the politics of the breath that have been so present in the last year of our lives, this year’s Langston Hughes (Virtual) Community Poetry Reading is an opportunity for us to breathe together with strength, resilience, and truth to power.