The Library will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2024, in observance of Memorial Day.

Episode 88: Robert Hayden

Thursday, December 1, 2022
Episode Summary

Los Angeles Poet Laureate Lynne Thompson reads "Frederick Douglass" by Robert Hayden.

Participant(s) Bio

Poet Robert Hayden was born Asa Bundy Sheffey into a poor family in the Paradise Valley neighborhood of Detroit. After graduating from high school in 1932, he attended Detroit City College (now Wayne State University) on scholarship and later earned a graduate degree in English literature from the University of Michigan. As a teaching fellow, he was the first Black faculty member in Michigan’s English department. Hayden eventually became the first African American to be appointed as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. His collections of poetry include Heart-Shape in the Dust (1940), Figure of Time (1955), A Ballad of Remembrance (1962), which won the grand prize at the First World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar, Senegal, Selected Poems (1966), Words in the Mourning Time (1970), The Night-Blooming Cereus (1972), Angle of Ascent: New and Selected Poems (1975), and American Journal (1978).