Melvin B. Tolson

Melvin B. Tolson

Anchored by the masterful long poem “Dark Symphony,” Melvin B. Tolson's Rendezvous with America (1944) surveyed the historical achievements of African Americans while detailing the challenges they continued to face. One of the first and most perceptive writers on the Harlem Renaissance, and renowned for the breadth of his knowledge and expert handling of traditional literary forms, Tolson completed before his death the first of a projected five-part epic on the African-American experience. Among his honors was the Poet Laureateship of Liberia.

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"Sure, I'd had to recite Paul Revere's Ride, or what have you, but I didn't know how expansive and powerful poetry actually was. I am a better thinker, a better listener, a better performer, a better entertainer, a better and wiser and more helpful human being because of POL."
Lawson Marchetti
2015 MS POL Champion