National Poetry Month: Tribute to Essex Hemphill

Mt. Pleasant Library

National Poetry Month: Tribute to Essex Hemphill

Saturday, April 19, 2014, 2 p.m.

Essex HemphillPoet, editor, and activist Essex Hemphill was born April 16, 1957 in Chicago, Ill. He was raised right here in Southeast Washington, D.C., and began to write poems at the age of 14.

He was educated at the University of Maryland. Hemphill's first books were the self-published chapbooks Earth Life (1985) and Conditions (1986). In 1991, Hemphill edited Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men, which won a Lambda Literary Award. In 1992, he released Ceremonies: Prose and Poetry, which won the National Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual New Author Award. On Nov. 4, 1995, Hemphill died from complications relating to AIDS.

In this program, local poets Regie Cabico, Philip Clark, Wayson Jones and Michelle Parkerson will share their personal reflections on the life and work of Essex Hemphill, including selected readings from his poetry.

After the program, there will be an audience Q&A followed by a meet-and-greet with the poets.