Gloria Burgess to Present "I'll Fly Away: A Sojourn Through Poetry and Spirituals"
Award-winning poet, performer and distinguished scholar Gloria Burgess will explore the rich heritage of African-American spirituals and poetry at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4 in Room 16 of Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center.The presentation is free and open to the public.
During this interactive presentation, Burgess will discuss the literary and artistic forms of spirituals and poetry that tied communities together socially and artistically during slavery, and continue to enrich the multicultural fabric of our state today through the work of contemporary African-America poets, musicians and artists. This sojourn through words and music will cover the sometimes hidden meanings of specific spirituals and poems, including how the art helped people cope as they were transported from one continent, and one culture, to another.
Burgess has presented keynotes, master classes, and artistic tributes focusing on African-American, African, and other oral traditions for over 30 years. She has presented, consulted, and performed in a variety of venues, including Carnegie Hall, the Washington National Cathedral, the Kenyan Parliament, and the South African Embassy in Switzerland. Burgess holds a doctorate in Performance Studies from the University of Southern California, and has served as regular and visiting faculty at universities in Washington and California. She is a Poetry Fellow with Cave Canem, a prestigious collective of poets and writers of the African diaspora, sponsored by the American Academy of Poets.
This special talk is presented by Humanities Washington, which offers a roster of cultural experts and scholars who provide low-cost, high-quality public presentations across the state, encouraging audiences to think, learn, and engage in conversation. The event is being co-sponsored by Western Libraries and the Western Washington University Departments of English, Liberal Studies, and Music.