As a child, the first poem Tracie Morris, PhD, read by a Black writer was “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes. Decades later, when Dr. Morris—now a distinguished visiting professor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop—was getting her MFA, “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes was the only poem by a Black writer taught in a class on 20th-century poetry.
“I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? Are you seriously only giving me the poem that I read by Black writer when I was 5 years old?’” she recalls. “Why is it that the canon does not integrate these important voices that are on the pulse of time?”
Read the full article featuring Lillian-Yvonne Bertram here!