Established in 1985 to commemorate Black poets, October 17 was named National Black Poetry Day in the United States. This particular date is attributed to the birth date of the first published Black poet, Jupiter Hammon. We celebrate this day to pay respect to the significance of Black heritage and Black voices throughout history, both past and present. This is a day to recognize the many contributions that Black Poets have made to the arts and to show appreciation for their effect on our world today.
Seton Hall University Libraries is home to inscribed volumes given to a faculty member by the famed ringleader of Poetry in the Round that add to the rich history of Seton Hall University. To honor and celebrate Black Poetry Day, we will highlight these inscribed volumes as a tribute to Black poetry and the influence of Black voices at our university. Two inscriptions came from Derek Walcott and Al Young, both which are illustrated below. You can learn more about the Poetry in the Round series and view Black poet speech recordings from our Archives & Special Collections.
Below are recent photographs of these inscribed volumes:
1) Al Young
You can also view poets.org to see many prominent Black poets throughout history: https://poets.org/search?combine=black%20poets.