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"Selected Letters of Langston Hughes"

Aired on Friday, February 27th.

On this penultimate day of Black History Month, we're talking about the life and work of one of our greatest African American writers, Langston Hughes (1902-1967), the prolific and influential poet, activist, novelist, memoirist, playwright, and newspaper columnist. Our guest on ST is David Roessel, one of the editors of the recently published "Selected Letters of Langston Hughes" (Knopf). This hefty, decade-by-decade, and carefully assembled volume is the first comprehensive selection of the correspondence of Hughes, the iconic author of such classic poems as "I, Too, Sing America," "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," "The Weary Blues," "A Dream Deferred," and "My People." As book critic Dwight Garner noted of this new book in The New York Times: "[It's] an indelible historical document. It traces Hughes's career from the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s...through to the arrival into the American consciousness of black nationalist firebrands like Amiri Baraka in the 1960s.... 'Selected Letters of Langston Hughes' is a beautifully made book, carefully edited. The footnotes, by [Arnold] Rampersad and David Roessel, are so incisive that they're nearly a book of their own. Your eye flickers toward them, the way it does to the simultaneous translation tickers at the opera, lest you miss something vital.... There's real feeling and serious history here."

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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