Presenter: Shanta Lee Gander
This exploration starts with a question: what is the arc from Lucy Terry Prince to the modern moment of the spoken word within poetry? Lucy’s poem, “Bars Fight,” survived for 100 years in oral tradition before appearing for the first time in 1854 in the Springfield Daily Republican. This talk explores some of the roots of orality in connection with Lucy Terry Prince, the first known African American poet in the U.S. From there, we will explore how this poem's survival fits within a constellation of other poets in journeying from the oral to the written. What are some conclusions can we draw about creative lineage in relation to poetics? When it comes to the transference of poetry through oral tradition, how do we apply that to the bigger question of knowledge transference across a diaspora? These and other bigger questions alongside poetry are explored within this lecture.
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New Hampshire Humanities programs are made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this these programs do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or New Hampshire Humanities.