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langston hughes profile

For 29 years, the annual Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading (LHCPR) has been the legacy event that remains the must-see opening entrée into Black History Month events in Rhode Island. It celebrates the late Langston Hughes' ties to this State as well as amplifies his extended reach beyond being the writer and voice of the Harlem Renaissance. This occasion also continues to bring people together. A diverse group - young, old and of different backgrounds, professions, abilities and races - reads and performs selected poems from Hughes’ extensive collection of work in front of an audience that has been more than 500 people consistently over the last several years. 

Four months of planning, and our Langston's Harlem Nights fundraiser on November 18, 2023 was a complete success. Thank you to all our donors, sponsors, vendors of color, attendees, poets, Machine with Magnets staff, the Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading fundraising committee members, Project Manager Alisha Pina, and volunteers. Because of you, we were able to celebrate the life and work of the great Langston Hughes, showcase Black Excellence in Rhode Island and raise necessary funds to keep our critical arts, culture and community work going. Read and see more of the sights and sounds of our great night... 

We at Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading are so happy we were able to once again bring the community together to honor the man known as Langston Hughes.

This year’s poetry reading focused on his life as a global poet – from his travels as a steward on a freighter bound to Africa to seafaring around Europe to reporting as a newspaper correspondent during the Spanish Civil War. Besides those in Africa and Europe, the countries Hughes has been to include Haiti, Japan and the then-Soviet Union.

Excerpt from "Life is Fine" by Langston Hughes

Life is fine!      Fine as wine!      Life is fine!

Why Langston Hughes?

The Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading (LHCPR) shares the works of Langston Hughes, specifically, because of the poet's proven ability to scrutinize, illuminate and engage critical thought around prevailing structures and realities. With work centering creative survival, development, self actualization, individuality and political mobilization, Hughes work becomes a natural conduit for engaged conversation and deep consideration. The sophistication of the poetry produced by Hughes is of a quality and breath that it easily engages both new- and ‘old’ comers. Similarly, the works create communal conjurings of improved futures and thought patterns that lend themselves to the learning, opening, and widening of minds. The LHCPR utilizes this work to create community, facilitate pedagogies empowering free will, independent thinking, and empathy.


Community Reflections

old time radio

"Even though we tend to express ourselves primarily through physical movement, for us, Langston's legacy is a movement in itself. His poetry is in lineage with our ancestral tradition of expression, truth telling, deep feeling and dismantling. The Haus of Glitter would not exist without Langston Hughes."

the Glitter Goddess Collective

Partner Organization

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