Robert Hayden

1913–1980
Robert Hayden
Born Asa Bundy Sheffey into a poor family, Robert Hayden’s parents left him to be raised by foster parents. Due to extreme nearsightedness, Hayden turned to books rather than sports in his childhood. Some of his best-known poems can be found in his collection A Ballad of Remembrance. Hayden was the first African American to be appointed as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.

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"Something that I learned from Poetry Out Loud that surprised me is how connected I feel with the poems I have recited. I never expected to have such a great love of poetry and I know that is something that will never go away because of this amazing experience."
Hannah Sturgis
2015 DE POL Champion