We began with Langston Hughes’s 1921 award-winning poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” and the charge to write something in response. There was something in the invitation about nature poetry and how that seemed important, but otherwise the instructions were open-ended (perhaps scarily so). We asked poets of very different styles and sensibilities, only some of whom were already engaged with Hughes’s work: F. Douglas Brown, Jericho Brown, Katie Ford, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Derrick Harriell, Dong Li, Sandra Lim, and Michael C. Peterson. We wanted to see what each of these writers would make. In both the individual poems and the group as a whole, we weren’t disappointed; the poems ask, reach, and posit literary relationship in phenomenally different ways.
Of Rivers Chapbook Special FeaturePublished July 06, 2016 Posted by Denise Hill
The newest issue of Southern Humaniites Review (v49 n2) includes a special poetry section of selections from Of River, a chapbook edited by Chiyuma Elliot and Katie Peterson, who also each contribute a piece.The entire chapbook is available to read for free online here. The editors open the collection with this explanation: