Langston Hughes was one of the champions of the Harlem Renaissance, a prolific writer, poet, and thought leader. Although he passed away in 1967, his work lives on and has been celebrated by standard bearers at the Langston Hughes Community Poetry for the past 28 years.
This year saw a welcome return to in-person performances, with dozens of performers taking the mic at the Providence Public Library in their spacious theater. The readers represented some of the strongest voices in the local poetry community – all colors and genders shared in drawing strength and inspiration from a sampling of the work by this late master wordsmith. Some had the audience on the edge of their seats, while others had them up and singing, stomping or clapping.
“These words and ideas are like medicine for the soul,” said showrunners April Brown and Kai Cameron in their opening remarks. “So, enjoy the medicine!”