Vermont Humanities

Lucy Terry Prince: Witness, Voice, and Poetics within the American Tradition

Man giving a talk in a bike shop
Speakers Bureau

Painting of Lucy Terry Prince

This exploration starts with a question: what is the arc from Lucy Terry Prince to the modern moment of the spoken word within poetry? Lucy’s poem “Bars Fight” survived for 100 years in oral tradition before appearing for the first time in 1854 in the Springfield Daily Republican.

This talk explores some of the roots of orality in connection with Lucy Terry Prince, the first known African American poet in the US. From there, we will explore how this poem’s survival fits within a constellation of other poets in journeying from the oral to the written. What are some conclusions can we draw about creative lineage in relation to poetics? When it comes to the transference of poetry through oral tradition, how do we apply that to the bigger question of knowledge transference across a diaspora? These and other bigger questions alongside poetry  are explored within this lecture.

Time: 1.5 hours  (with  Q & A)

Additional Costs

Mileage

Special Arrangements

Projector, screen, computer

Available in correctional facilities.

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About the Presenter

Shanta Lee Gander

Shanta Lee

Shanta Lee is the 2020 recipient of the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts and was named as Diode Editions’ full-length book contest winner for her debut poetry compilation, GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak in Woke Tongues.

Talks by Shanta Lee

Black and white photo of masks in a shop window along a cobblestone street

Dazed, Seduced and Transfixed: The Monster Through Time, In Literature and In Our Lives

Our culture is filled with manifestations of the monster. These figures span genres, from mythology to oral tradition to poetry. It is a part of our human cartography. Alongside this legacy, moments of history have sometimes raised the question: “Who is the monster?” The creatures we have created on screen and on the page, or the reflection staring back at us?

Painting of Lucy Terry Prince

Lucy Terry Prince: Witness, Voice, and Poetics within the American Tradition

This exploration starts with a question: what is the arc from Lucy Terry Prince to the modern moment of the spoken word within poetry? Lucy’s poem “Bars Fight” survived for 100 years in oral tradition before appearing for the first time in 1854 in the Springfield Daily Republican.

Vermont Humanities*** February 10, 2020