Back Amanda Gorman, Robin Coste Lewis star in latest online celebration of Black poetry

January 28, 2021 — Library of America partnered with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles for “Lift Every Voice: Why African American Poetry Matters Today,” the latest online event in LOA’s months–long, nationwide Lift Every Voice initiative championing the 250-year tradition of African American poetry.

The starry roster of participants included Robin Coste Lewis, winner of the National Book Award for Poetry for her 2015 collection Voyage of the Sable Venus; Kevin Young, editor of LOA’s anthology African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song; Amanda Gorman, fresh off her appearance at President Biden’s inauguration in Washington, D.C.; composer Kris Bowers, whose recent work includes the score for the Netflix series Bridgerton; and Safiya Sinclair, whose 2016 collection Cannibal won a Whiting Writers’ Award. Jessica Strand, Director of Public Programs at the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, introduced the program.

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