Community Convening Feb. 2024

Silhouette of face and words reading "Celebrating Black Poets & Poetry"

Join our upcoming Community Convening! This year's Black History Month is African Americans and the Arts. In observance of this theme, we'll be celebrating Black poets and poetry at this month's convening. Our guest poet Luther Hughes (they/them) will lead this session. Scroll down to learn more about Luther.

After Luther's poetry reading, they will facilitate a session on writing our own original poems. We will then have the chance to share our own original poems in a supportive and welcoming environment. If this last sentence makes you nervous - don't worry! Participation is not required, only encouraged. 

Tuesday, February 27 | 12 - 1:30pm | Zoom
FREE - Registration is Required

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Guest Poet Luther Hughes

Photo of a man in a bucket hat and blue shirt among reeds

Luther Hughes (they/them) is the author of A Shiver in the Leaves (BOA Editions, 2022), listed as best books of 2022 in The New Yorker, and the chapbook, Touched (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018), recommended by the American Library Association. They are the founder of Shade Literary Arts, an organization for queer writers of color, and cohosts The Poet Salon Podcast with Gabrielle Bates and Dujie Tahat. Recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Rosenberg Fellowship and the 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize, they received their MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. Their writing has been published in The Paris Review, Orion, American Poetry Review, and others. They’ve been featured in The Seattle Times, Forbes, Essence, KUOW Public Radio, The Slowdown, and more. Luther lives in Seattle, where they were born and raised.

A Shiver in the Leaves will be available for purchase at Odyssey Bookshop: 114 W. Front St., Port Angeles.



About Black History Month

The story of Black History Month begins in Chicago during the summer of 1915. Carter G. Woodson, the "Father of Black History," traveled to Chicago to participate in a celebration of the 50th anniversary of emancipation. As early as 1920, Woodson urged Black civic organizations to promote the achievements of Black Americans. In 1924, Negro History and Literature Week was created, which was later renamed Negro Achievement Week. It is commonly said that Woodson selected February to encompass the birthdays of two great Americans who played a prominent role in shaping Black history, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, whose birthdays are February 12 and 14 respectively. By the late 1960's, Negro History Week had evolved into what is now known as Black History Month. Protests around racial justice, inequality, and anti-imperialism that were occurring in many parts of the U.S. were pivotal to that change.

Images of smiling and hugging Black families

Each year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) sets a theme for Black History Month. 2024's theme is African Americans and the Arts. 

African American art is infused with African, Caribbean, and the Black American lived experiences. In the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary, and other forms of cultural expression, the African American influence has been paramount. African American artists have used art to preserve history and community memory as well as for empowerment. Artistic and cultural movements such as the New Negro, Black Arts, Black Renaissance, hip-hop, and Afrofuturism, have been led by people of African descent and set the standard for popular trends around the world. In 2024, this theme examines the varied history and life of African American arts and artisans.




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