Maxine Gordon has loved jazz music all her life. From going to hear Miles Davis and John Coltrane as a teenager, to working as a road manager and promoter when she was a young woman, to becoming the personal manager and ultimately the wife of one of the most influential jazz artists of the twentieth century, Maxine has seen it all. She makes full use of these experiences in her new book, Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon (University of California Press). [Read more…] about Love and jazz
In the midst of research for The Greenwich Village Bookshop Door exhibition, my former colleague Molly Schwartzburg alerted me to an unpublished manuscript she had located in the collection of writer and editor Christopher Morley (known today for his novel Parnassus on Wheels and his work on the editorial board of the Book-of-the-Month Club). [Read more…] about A newly identified work by writer and poet Fenton Johnson
February 20, 2017, marks the 122nd anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s death. Douglass (1818–1895), an abolitionist and activist for civil rights, was a gifted writer and orator. [Read more…] about Frederick Douglass and the Mass Meeting for Civil Rights
Andrew Carlson, Clinical Assistant Professor and Managing Director of the Oscar G. Brockett Center for Theatre History and Criticism at The University of Texas at Austin, has worked extensively with Shakespeare’s plays through critical analysis and performance. [Read more…] about To quarto, or not to quarto?
The Harry Ransom Center celebrates the reissue of Adrienne Kennedy’s groundbreaking memoir People Who Led to My Plays from Theatre Communications Group. First published in 1987 as a response to the frequently asked question of what inspirations have influenced her work, Kennedy recorded brief, fragmentary memories covering 1936–1961. A deeply influential and radically innovative kind of memoir, novelist Ishmael Reed called these glimpses into her life “a new form of black autobiography.” [Read more…] about Celebrating the reissue of Adrienne Kennedy’s memoir
The stories I selected span three decades and show (Zora Neal) Hurston’s diversity in writing styles and subject matter. I created my illustrations from fragments of fabric, paper and faded photos. The layering of images, patterns and textures evoke the feeling of memory and old tales retold. So they become, like the stories, “Bookmarks in the Pages of Life.”—Betye Saar, artist’s afterword to Bookmarks in the Pages of Life [Read more…] about African American artists and writers in the Limited Editions Club