Readings from The Collected Poems of Lorenzo Thomas

In the 1970s Lorenzo Thomas, poet, scholar, and youngest member of the Umbra workshop, wrote the lines, “We did them a fortune. We did / Them a favor just being / Ourselves inside of Them” (The Bathers, 1981), exploring through his poetry what he also examined as a scholar — the history of black art, culture, and activism, the works and worlds black artists made possible, the vibrant meaning they created or unveiled. Please join us in a celebration of his life and work, in advance of the publication of The Collected Poems of Lorenzo Thomas, with readings by A.L. Nielsen, Ras Moshe Burnett, Lydia Cortes, Patricia Spears Jones, Charles Bernstein, Erica Hunt, William J. Harris, and Tracie Morris.

Poetry Project Newsletter #46
June 1977
Online tickets are available at the link above until an hour before this event. Unless otherwise noted, tickets will continue to be available at the door.
Photo Credit: A.L. Nielsen

Lorenzo Thomas

Lorenzo Thomas was born in Panama in 1944, but his family relocated to New York in 1948, and it was there that he was schooled and began his life as a poet. Already publishing as a teenager, Thomas formed lifelong friendships with such New York poets as Ted Greenwald, and was the youngest member of the Society of Umbra, that crucial predecessor of the Black Arts Movement. Following a tour of duty in the Navy, Thomas moved to Houston, where he became an intimate part of the cultural life of that region, while continuing his national and international literary associations. A critic as well as a poet, Thomas published two volumes of scholarship as well as numerous essays, including several histories of the Umbra group. He died on July 4, 2005.