Lift Every Voice: Why African American Poetry Matters

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Amanda Gorman
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Ryan Lash/TED Amanda Gorman.

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If you’re still weeping with joy and beaming with hope from Amanda Gorman’s powerful inaugural poem, then you’re in luck: You’ll have another chance to hear from the Angeleno again real soon.

The country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate is part of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ Lift Every Voice: Why African American Poetry Matters, a virtual poetry reading that’s running as part of a nationwide celebration of two-and-a-half centuries of African American poetry. The free event also centers around the release of African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song, an anthology edited by Kevin Young, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and poetry editor of The New Yorker. In addition to Gorman and Young, the event also features readings from Robin Coste Lewis and Safiya Sinclair, as well as music from Kris Bowers.

The conversation kicks off on January 28 at 5pm via Zoom. Admission is totally free, but you can also opt for a $50 ticket that benefits LFLA and includes a copy of the book.

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