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Langston Hughes biography :

Langston Hughes was born James Langston Hughes on 1st February 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. His father, James Nathaniel Hughes, was a shopkeeper, and his mother was a school teacher. His parents separated and Hughes, together with his mother, moved constantly in search for work. They eventually settled in Cleveland Ohio. Carl Sandbury, a poet whose writings he became familiar with during his youth, influenced him deeply.

Hughes started writing poetry when he was in the eighth grade. He graduated from the Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio and wanted to pursue poetry writing but his father discouraged him. Instead he encouraged Hughes to pursue engineering at Columbia University. Hughes, however, dropped out of Columbia with a B+ average. He continued to write and his first published work, “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” was released in the African-American journal, “Crisis” in 1921. He published his first play, “The Golden Piece” also in 1921.

In 1923, Hughes traveled extensively to Africa and Europe and in his free time, he would frequent jazz clubs. The experience he gathered coupled with the rhythm of jazz came out in his writings, such as those seen in “The Weary Blues”. Most of Langston Hughes’ poems have already been set to music as these literary works are: “meant to be read aloud, crooned, shouted and sung”.

In 1929, Hughes received his B.A. degree from the Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. In 1943, the honorary Lit. D was awarded to him. In 1935 and 1940 he received the Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rosenwald Fellowship respectively. Langston Hughes continued to write, and conducted lectures until he succumbed to cancer on May 22, 1967.

Between 1926 and 1967, the year of his death, Hughes published more than 35 books. He wrote books of poems, novels, short stories, plays, and even musicals and operas.

East 127th Street in New York, the block where Langston Hughes used to live, has been renamed “Langston Hughes Place”

 

 
   
 

Poems by Langston Hughes  :

Let America Be America Again

Quiet Girl by Langston Hughes

Daybreak in Alabama

The Negro Speaks Of Rivers

Juke Box Love Song

Madam and Her Madam

 
 

Books of poetry by Langston Hughes   :

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (Vintage Classics)

 

Book Description
At last Hughes has gotten his first collected edition; it is overdue. The editors have attempted to collect every poem (860 in all) published by the writer in his lifetime, and have also provided a brief but informative introduction, a detailed chronology and extensive textual notes that include the original date and place of publication for each poem. In fact, this edition corrects the many errors and omissions of the standard Hughes bibliography, and the editors plan to update the text as more unpublished work surfaces. Although Hughes is best known for his poems celebrating African African life, he was also a passionately political poet who paid dearly for his communist affiliations and radical views. The chronological arrangement of the poems allows the reader to follow the course of Hughes's career-long political engagement, though probably Hughes will mainly be read for the clarity of his language, his wise humor and his insight into the human condition. BOMC selection.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc

 
 

Great Poetry Books by Langston Hughes :