Broadside Press Poetry Reading celebrates Black History Month

February 2, 2000

ANN ARBOR—Videos, poetry readings, and a display of original Broadside Press materials will highlight the celebration of Black History Month at the University of Michigan’s University Library, 1-3:30 p.m. Feb. 18, in the Erhlicher Room in West Hall on U-M’s Central Campus. Admission is free.

The 60-minute video “The Black Unicorn: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press” will be followed by poetry readings by Melba Joyce Boyd, Bill Harris and Gloria House.

In 1965, noted poet Dudley Randall established the Broadside Press to publish his own poems and other works by African American writers such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Audre Lorde, Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee) and others whose works spawned and nourished the Black Arts Movement of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Randall taught poetry at U-M and was poet-in-residence at the University of Detroit in 1969-77.

Melba Joyce Boyd, poet, educator, and cultural activist, is known for her work as an assistant editor at Broadside Press between 1972 and 1976. Her works include the video, “The Black Unicorn.”

Bill Harris, well-known poet and playwright whose works have starred Abbey Lincoln and Denzel Washington and appear in such collections as The National Black Drama Anthology, New Plays for the Black Theater, and African American Literature, is currently an associate professor of English at Wayne State University.

Gloria House, also known as Aneb Kgositsile, has taught at Wayne State University and at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her publications include two collections from Broadside Press, “Blood River” (1983) and “Rainrituals” (1990). She also published a book of sociopolitical commentary on the uses of the environment in the United States, “Tower and Dungeon: A Study of Place and Power in America.”

University LibraryGwendolyn Brooksassociate professor of English