Pellissippi State: Poet Dunbar topic of Feb. 6 Faculty Lecture Series talk

portrait of a male in black hat and gray sweatshirtThe enduring poetry of African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar will be the topic of two Faculty Lecture Series presentations at Pellissippi State Community College in February.

Robert Boyd presents “A Salute to Dunbar,” reading selections from “The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar,” on Thursday, Feb. 6, and Thursday, Feb. 20.

“Dunbar was a ‘griot’ [an African tribal storyteller] who told his tales in verse,” said Boyd, an associate professor of English. “Words, rhythms, rhymes and voices became verse, verse that flowed from his imagination and his life on to those of us who read.”

The Feb. 6 presentation is at 12:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium of the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The Feb. 20 presentation takes place at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Magnolia Avenue Campus, 1610 E. Magnolia Ave.

Both events are free. The community is invited.

Boyd’s presentations will include a discussion of Dunbar’s life and selected readings from his works.

Dunbar was an African-American poet, novelist and playwright of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in Ohio to parents who had been slaves in Kentucky, he was one of the first black writers to establish a national reputation.

“He wanted to be known for his more traditional poetry, but most of his better-known works are written in dialect,” Boyd said.

The Faculty Lecture Series is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

To learn more about “A Salute to Dunbar” or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

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