My Dark Nights of Soul - Poet Robert Hayden

"My Dark Nights of Soul" - Poet Robert Hayden
Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 3 pm

Brown Scholar Series Program

Download the invitation here

Program: National Poetry Month Presentation

Duane Herman will share the story of poet Robert Hayden who became the first African American Poet Consultant to the Library of Congress, an honor now known as Poet Laureate of the United States. Born Asa Bundey Sheffey, Robert Hayden spent his childhood in a Detroit ghetto nicknamed “Paradise Valley.” Childhood events would result in times of depression he would call “my dark nights of the soul.” Despite hardships during the 1920s and 1930s his family worked to send him to college, where he received a degree in English. Hayden considered himself to be a symbolist poet; his work often carried hidden meaning.

Duane Herman, a retired public school librarian, received his degree in Education and History from Ft. Hays State University and has been a member of the Adjunct faculty of Allen County Community College. In 1989 he received the Robert Hayden Poetry Fellowship. His book By Thy Strengthening Grace won the Ferguson Kansas History Award for 2007. He has edited several poetry anthologies, chapters in several books and continues to be published through articles and collective works of poetry. His research on Robert Hayden spans several decades and includes publications in the U.S., the Netherlands and Australia.