Tag Archives: Poetry

Langston Hughes, Poet and Playwright


Langston HughesJames Langston Mercer Hughes was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Missouri and died on May 22, 1967, in New York, New York.

His first successful poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” was published in The Crisis magazine in 1920 and met with high praise.  In 1921 he enrolled in Columbia University where he studied briefly, and during which time became a part of Harlem’s burgeoning cultural movement, commonly known as the Harlem Renaissance. Hughes later dropped out of school, traveled around the world doing various jobs.  In 1925, he met Vachel Lindsay, showed some of his poems to Lindsay who was impressed enough to use his connections to promote Hughes’s poetry and bring it to a wider audience.

In 1940, at 28 years old, Hughes published his autobiography, The Big Sea.  Around that same time he began contributing to a column in the Chicago Defender, for which he created a comic character name Jesse B. Semple, better known as “Simple,” a black Everyman that Hughes used to further explore urban, working-class black themes, and to address racial issues.  The columns were highly successful and “Simple” would later be the focus of sever of Hughes’s books and plays.The Collected Poetry of Langston Hughes

From the 1940s until his death, Hughes continued prolific output of poetry, plays and other works.  On May 22, 1967, Langston Hughes died from complications of prostate cancer.  A tribute to his poetry, his funeral contained little in the way of spoken eulogy, but was filled with jazz and blues music.  Hughes’s ashes were interred beneath the entrance of the Arthur Schomberg Center for Research in Black culture in Harlem.  The inscription marking the spot features a line from Hughes’s poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.”  It reads: “My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”

His work continues to be published and translated throughout the world.

For more information go to: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/83

Suzanne Bogue

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Filed under Black History, blogs

Time is Running Out! Enter Soon!


The Spiral of Time

Announcing

2013 Frontiers in Writing Contest

Now open for entries 

 For one low entry fee you can now enter multiple categories

Cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in EVERY category.

Go to:

www.Panhandleprowriters.org

Entry rules, procedures and format regulations are listed on the FiW Writing Contest page

Download FiW entry Application and mail along with your entry.

Entry fees can be check or Money order, or pay online using “Payments” on the PPW website.

Sponsored by the Panhandle Professional Writers

Basics to Entering a Writing Contest

 Writing contests can offer great benefits to a writer, however they can also be intimidating. To help you wade through the process, let’s look at some of the basics of entering a Writing Contest.

1. Choose the right contest – Do the research to find the best contest for your writing. Contest entry fees can vary greatly from free to extremely high. The rewards can be just as varied from a simple recognition and critique of your writing, to rewards of money prizes and publication. Beware of contests that require you to purchase the published work of your “Winning” writing. More information can be found in my article Writing Contest Benefits.

2. Choose the correct Genre – To avoid poor critiques or placement, choose the correct genre for your work. While some pieces may cross over into another classification, you will have better results if you focus your writing to one specific genre.

3. Follow Submission Guidelines – When entering a contest pay close attention to the submission guidelines. These rules may vary greatly with different organizations and contests. Be diligent to have the correct word count while using the proper page format, font, and cover page identification requirements. Don’t expect contest officials to overlook the rules just for you, it’s their contest and it’s their rules.

4. Pay attention to Postage – If you are sending an entry by mail it will require the correct postage, so does the return of your entry. Read carefully any instructions regarding postage and the return mailing requirements of your entry or prizes. If you are using metered mail, postage from a meter or computer, understand that it expires on the date stamped. If you stamp the return envelope with the current date, and the contest results are not given for several months, postage may be expired and could result in your entry not being returned.

By following these few steps, entering a writing contest can be fun and successful!

Rory C. Keel

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Filed under Contests, genres, memoir, novels, poetry, prose, short stories, Writing