Charles White: The People’s Artist

John Oliver Killens (1916–1987), an influential essayist, novelist, screenwriter, and teacher, was born in Macon. Co-founder of the Harlem Writers Guild and a vice-president of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Killens worked as a teacher and lecturer at many schools and universities, including Fisk, Howard, and Columbia. His first novel, Youngblood (1954), tells the story of an African American family’s struggles in the fictional town of Crossroads, Georgia, during the Jim Crow era of the 1920s; it has been reprinted several times, most recently in 2000 by the University of Georgia Press. Killens’ novels And Then We Heard the Thunder (1963) and Cotillion, or One Good Bull Is Half the Herd (1971) were each nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction.  His other books include the essay collection Black Man’s Burden (1965); a novel about the life and work of poet Alexander Pushkin, Great Black Russian (1989); and two books for young readers, Great Gittin’ Up Morning: A Biography of Denmark Vesey (1972) and—recounting the adventures of John Henry—A Man Ain’t Nothin’ but a Man (1975). John Oliver Killens died in Brooklyn, New York in 1987. (Inducted as a charter member in 2000)

What Can Be United

Snapping Turtle

Degeneration: The Explanatory Nightmare

Whistle Maker & The Palace at 4 A.M.

A Prologue to the “Georgics”

Distance & Taking Both Sides

The Promise of Light

Richard Jackson has published fifteen books of poems and is the author or editor of multiple critical monographs, books in translation, and anthologies. His most recent books are Broken Horizons (Press 53, 2018) and Out of Place (Ashland Poetry Press, 2014); “Take Five,” a prose poetry project with four other poets, is forthcoming.


Robert Cording has published eight collections of poems, most recently Only So Far (CavanKerry Press, 2015) and A Word in My Mouth: Selected Spiritual Poems (Wipf and Stock, 2013). He has received two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in poetry and two poetry grants from the Connecticut Commission of the Arts. His poems have appeared in numerous publications such as the Nation, the Southern Review, Poetry, the Hudson Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Orion, and the New Yorker.