Robert Hayden: A Centennial Conference

October 21, 2013


DATE: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 1, 2013

EVENT: The University of Michigan will celebrate the centennial of distinguished poet and educator Robert Hayden.

Author of such acclaimed works as “Those Winter Sundays,” “Middle Passage” and “Frederick Douglass,” Hayden is recognized as a leader of a generation of African-American poets that emerged during the 1940s to achieve widespread critical attention. Hayden was born in 1913 and grew up in the “Paradise Valley” ghetto in Detroit. He went on to become the first African-American Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (1976-78), the post now named Poet Laureate of the United States. In 2012, the U.S. Post Office issued a postage stamp to honor his achievement.

Hayden earned his master’s degree from U-M in 1944 and served as professor of English at the university from 1970 until his death in 1980.
The conference is free and open to the public.

Schedule of events:

  • 10 a.m.: Keynote by Harryette Mullen, professor of English and creative writing at UCLA and author of “The Cracks Between What We Are and What We are Supposed to Be.” She has been a Guggenheim fellow and a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
  • 1: 30-3 p.m.: Panel discussion featuring Mullen; Frederick Glaysher, editor of Robert Hayden’s “Collected Poems” and “Collected Prose”; Laurence Goldstein, professor of English at U-M and co-editor of “Robert Hayden: Essays on the Poetry”; and Lawrence Joseph, a Detroit native and distinguished Arab-American poet, among others.
  • 3:30-5 p.m.: Readings of Hayden’s work by U-M students.

PLACE: Rackham Amphitheater, 915 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor

SPONSOR: U-M Department of English