Special Event

A Great Day in Poetry

Thursday, February 01, 2024 | 6:30 p.m.

$0 | Friedman Family Auditorium

Join Planet Word and MahoganyBooks as we host A Great Day in Poetry, commemorating Langston Hughes’s birthday as well as the publication of This Is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets, edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander. Anticipate a captivating evening of poetry followed by a Q&A session. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase!

Poet and Artist Abdul Ali will host our featured poets: Kimberly Collins, Kyle Dargan, Brian Gilmore, Reuben Jackson, Alan King, Chet’la Sebree, Clint Smith, and Truth Thomas.

A Great Day in Poetry
In 1958, Esquire magazine commissioned Art Kane, a young photographer, to photograph as many of the luminaries of the New York jazz scene as possible together. The group included Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Count Basie, and many other notable artists. The photo would be used for Esquire’s 1959 Golden Age of Jazz edition, as a way to highlight and celebrate the soundtrack of America. Over the years, other facets of Black America’s cultural landscape would be commemorated in similar ways: A Great Day in Hip Hop (1998), A Great Day in Hollywood (2018).

In keeping with this tradition, Kwame Alexander has organized A Great Day in Poetry, taking place on February 1, 2024 — Langston Hughes’s birthday. Coinciding with the publication of his 40th book, This Is the Honey: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Poets, A Great Day in Poetry will feature various contributing poets gathering in select bookstores across the U.S., including Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., Charleston, S.C., Boston, and Los Angeles, reading from their work and paying homage to the legacy, and future, of African-American poetry.