While helping some high school students research the Harlem Renaissance, I discovered that Nashville Public Library owns the March 1925 “Graphic Number” of The Survey magazine. This volume was a showcase that quickly made the rest of the country aware of the burgeoning cultural movement happening in Harlem, especially the literary achievements.
The “Graphic Number” was a special issue printed yearly of The Survey, a magazine about social issues in America. The 1925 Survey Graphic issue was devoted entirely to Harlem and to the “New Negro Movement” that later became known as the Harlem Renaissance.
African American scholars Charles S. Johnson (who eventually became the first black president of Fisk University) and Alain Locke were the guest editors for this special issue. Locke later turned the magazine into a book anthology titled The New Negro: An Interpretation.
The magazine includes articles by Locke, Johnson, and other scholars as well as stories by W.E.B. Dubois and Rudolph Fisher. Most of the art pieces are black and white drawings by Winold Reiss, a German immigrant. They include portraits of Harlem residents and other notable figures of the Harlem Renaissance movement. The significant poets of the Harlem Renaissance are also represented in this issue:
- Claude McKay
- Anne Spencer
- Jean Toomer
- Countee Cullen
- Langston Hughes
You can see this influential magazine by visiting the Periodicals desk on the 3rd floor at the Main library. To learn more about the Harlem Renaissance and some of the figures showcased in the March, 1925 Survey Graphic, check out these materials from Nashville Public Library:
Billy Collins is a poet for people who don’t like poetry. His funny, accessible poems have the power to win over even avowed poetry haters. You will not want to miss his free NPL appearance on Saturday, November 13th at 10:00 a.m. at Hume-Fogg High School.
This collection includes my favorite Billy Collins poem, I Chop Some Parsley While Listening to Art Blakey’s Version of “Three Blind Mice.”
Billy Collins Live
This recording of one of Collins’ performances will give you a taste of what his Nashville appearance will be like: part wry comedy, part astute observation of life’s details, part heartache.
Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry
While Billy Collins was Poet Laureate, he created an innovative program which encouraged high schools to read one poem a day during the morning announcements (the 180 referring to the 180 days of a school year). This is a collection of those poems.
Popmatic Podcast April 2010
Amanda reviews The Words of Every Song by Liz Moore. Bryan revisits the music of the original urban cowboy, Lee Hazlewood. Closing the show, Jeremy teaches that poetry is everywhere.