Arna Bontemps

1902–1973
Arna Bontemps

Like his close friend Langston Hughes and their fellow writers in the Harlem Renaissance, Arna Bontemps explored African-American experience in a wide variety of genres. As a poet, novelist, historian, anthologist and archivist, he enriched and preserved black cultural heritage. Bontemp’s poems are marked by a concern for the values of endurance and dignity— themes he treats in conservative forms even as he expresses his rage at injustice. They also reflect his immersion in the musical and oral traditions of African Americans.

What People are Saying

"Participating in Poetry Out Loud has taught me a lot of things, but I think the one thing I didn't expect to learn is how alive a poem can become when read out loud. I also learned that even words written as much as a hundred years ago can resonate with me and be relevant to my life."
Gypsy Prince
2015 OR POL Champion