Langston Hughes Review
Guest Editor: Shane Graham
Expected Publication: May 2021
In June 1921, Crisis published Langston Hughes’ first adult poem, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.” In many ways it contained the blueprint for the poet’s entire subsequent career, and established many of his key themes: black pride and self-assertion; the validation of Africa as spiritual force and ancestral homeland; black identity conceived as fluidly transnational and as formed by layers of history. The poem, and the body of work to follow it, were also enormously influential, not just to writers, but to visual artists, musicians, and performers across all media. On the centenary of the poem’s publication, this special issue of Langston Hughes Review will take “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” as a focal point through which to assess Hughes’ legacy over the last hundred years, and evaluate the contemporary significance of his work as it enters its second century. Submissions to this issue need not focus exclusively on this single poem, but “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” should in some way serve as a launch pad or backdrop for larger considerations of Hughes’ work, influence, and legacy. Possible topics and questions include but are not limited to:
Contributors are invited to send CVs and abstracts of 250-400 words to the guest editor, Shane Graham (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the editor, Tony Bolden (email@example.com) by January 31, 2020. Contributors whose abstracts are selected for peer review will be asked to submit their essays of between 5000-7000 words by July 1, 2020.
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