DC:POETRY:Project 60: E. Ethelbert Miller, the Making of an African American Writer

Project 60: E. Ethelbert Miller, the Making of an African American Writer

Please join the Special Collections Research Center at the Gelman Library of The George Washington University on November 19, 2010 for a celebration honoring D.C. poet E. Ethelbert Miller. The celebration, which coincides with Miller’s 60th birthday, will include discussion and comments by Ethelbert and his family and friends about his journey as a writer, as well as an examination and assessment of his work and a poetry reading with Sandra Beasley, Naomi Ayala, Ken Carroll, and Brian Gilmore. Accompanying the event is the exhibit “Call and Response,” which explores Miller’s life, major works, and their impact on those around him, both inside and outside the writing community.

Project 60: E. Ethelbert Miller, the Making of an African American Writer

E. Ethelbert Miller. Photo by Julia Jones.

The Project 60 event is a joint program of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Special Collections Research Center. The program begins at 1:30 PM in room 207 in Gelman Library and continues through the evening. For a complete schedule of the day’s activities, visit: http://www.gwu.edu/gelman/spec/EEM_PROGRAM.pdf

Since 1974, Ethelbert Miller has served as the Director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University. This position and his numerous literary and political activities in the Washington writing community have afforded him the opportunity to develop his own talent and to influence and nurture emerging African American artists. Ethelbert is an accomplished author, teacher, editor, and mentor. His poetry publications include among others How We Sleep On the Nights We Don’t Make Love; Whispers, Secrets, and Promises; First Light: New and Selected Poems; Where Are the Love Poems for Dictators?; Season of Hunger/Cry of Rain: Poems 1975-1980; and The Migrant Worker. Ethelbert is also an accomplished editor. His editorial work has included many anthologies, including In Search of Color Everywhere: a Collection of African American Poetry; Women surviving massacres and men: nine women poets: an anthology; and with Ahmos Zu-Bolton II, Synergy D.C. anthology. He has penned two memoirs, Fathering Words: the Making of an African American Writer and The 5th Inning. Ethelbert is the founder and Director of the Ascension Poetry Reading Series, one of the oldest literary series in the Washington area.

Ethelbert Miller’s connections to the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) are significant and far-reaching. In 1984, Miller and performance artist Chasen Gaver promoted the idea of a Washington Writers’ Archive with a goal to collect the literary papers of the writing community in D.C., especially those of artists who focused their work on the issues of concern to residents of Washington. Since then, subsequent partnerships between local poets and SCRC archivists have resulted in the beginnings of a comprehensive community history, including the papers of Miller himself, that will capture the intersections between members of a community of artists who interact both personally and artistically.



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