Killens Review of Arts & Letters
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Killens Review of Arts & Letters Fall/Winter 2012
In This Issue: Reconstructing the Master Narrative
Tracy K. Smith
Ngwah-Mbo Nana Nkewti
Submission of Material
The Killens Review of Arts & Letters Invites Submissions
The Killens Review of Arts & Letters, the literary journal published by the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, seeks submissions of poetry, essays, short stories, or visual art that honor the spirit and mission of the late poet, essayist, and activist Louis Reyes Rivera, who passed away on March 3, 2012. Often referred to as the “Janitor of History,” Rivera published four books, including Scattered Scripture (1996), for which he received the 1997 poetry award from the Latin American Writers Institute. He also edited and contributed to more than 200 published books, and co-edited Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam with Tony Medina.
In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy, the largest hurricane on record to form in the Atlantic Basin, whipped fiercely through the East Coast and left tens of millions of people devastated, leaving many shelterless. The Killens Review seeks nonfiction, first-person narratives about the impact of the storm on your personal life and your community. Be inspired by words of poet Gwendolyn Brooks: “Look at what’s happening in this world. Every day there’s something exciting or disturbing to write about. With all that’s going on, how could I stop?”
Length: 1,000 – 1,500 words
E-mail materials to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Killens Review” in the subject heading and brief introduction of yourself or the work submitted.
- your name,
- telephone number, and
- e-mail address on the first page of your submission.
Or mail material to:
Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY
1650 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225
RE: Killens Review
John Oliver Killens Chair
The Killens Review of Arts & Letters, published by the Center for Black Literature, is a journal dedicated to supporting the mission and work of the John Oliver Killens Chair. The objective of the Chair is to provide short residencies for literary writers/activists who embody the vision and spirit of the late John Oliver Killens. Through the Killens Review of Arts & Letters and the John Oliver Killens Chair, writers and students will have opportunities to create and expand the canon of literature produced by writers of color.
John Oliver Killens, author, activist, social critic, educator, and former writer-in-residence at Medgar Evers College, spent four decades writing and working to support Black writers and their work. He was the founder of the legendary Harlem Writers Guild, a workshop that strongly influenced such writers as Maya Angelou, Lonnie Elder, Paule Marshall, and Sarah E. Wright. Killens is probably best known for his first two novels,Youngblood (1954) and And Then We Heard the Thunder (1962), the latter of which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His other works include Black Man’s Burden (1965), collection of essays; ’Sippi (1967); The Cotillion: or, One Good Bull Is Half the Herd (1971), which was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and became the basis for the 1975 play Cotillion that was produced in New York by Woodie King’s New Federal Theatre; Great Gittin’ Up Morning: Biography of Denmark Vesey (1972); A Man Ain’t Nothin’ But a Man: The Adventures of John Henry (1975); and the posthumously published The Great Black Russian: The Life and Times of Alexander Pushkin (1988).
In addition to his novels, Killens also wrote for the cinema and the stage. He penned the screenplay for the 1969 film Slaves and authored the play Lower than the Angels, which was produced in New York in 1965. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the 1960 film Odds Against Tomorrow and co-authored the play Ballad of the Winter Soldier (1964).
In 1988, supporters of Killens, including Percy Sutton, Gwendolyn Brooks and others, provided seed money to establish the John Oliver Killens Chair at Medgar Evers College. The funds have been used by the Center for Black Literature since 2003 to support literary projects including the Elders Writers Project and a writers-in-residency program with renowned poet Sonia Sanchez.
“We want the world to be different. This is what we do every time we type one line on a page. We are out to change the world, to make people live better with each other.
I can state it almost that simply.”
Author John Oliver Killens shared these inspiring words with an audience after a public reading for the publication of his landmark book Youngblood. In this spirit, The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College has launched the Killens Review of Arts & Letters, a twice-yearly literary journal dedicated to supporting the mission and work of the John Oliver Killens Chair at Medgar Evers College.
The Killens Review of Arts & Letters will include essays, short stories, creative nonfiction, art, poetry, and interviews by noted and emerging Black writers. It will provide established authors and artists, as well as emerging writers, poets and artists, and educators and students, opportunities to create and expand the canon of literature produced by writers of color. It is important that we continue to provide and remind the general public, students, faculty, and those in the literary and publishing communities about the significance of the broad range of works produced by Black writers.
Killen Review Reading
Inaugural Issue, Spring/Summer 2010
“Let’s Do Lunch” by Herb Boyd
by Dr. Brenda M. Greene
“Why African-American Children’s Literature?” by Lynnette C. Velasco
Submission of Material
The Killens Review of Arts & Letters, a literary journal, seeks short stories, creative nonfiction, essays, poetry, and artwork related to the various cultural, sociopolitical, and historical experiences of writers and people of color from the African Disapora.
Please e-mail material to email@example.com with “Killens Review” in the subject heading. Please include your name, telephone number, and e-mail address on the first page of your submisssion.
Or mail material to the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, 1650 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225.
The Killens Review of Arts & Letters is published twice a year by The Center for Black Literature (CBL) at Medgar Evers College, of the City University of New York, 1650 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11225, 718-804-8883. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission. Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the CBL. The Killens Review of Arts & Letters cannot be held responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, or artwork.
The Center for Black Literature Staff
Dr. Brenda M. Greene, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maeshay k. Lewis, Executive Assistant to Executive Director, email@example.com
Clarence V. Reynolds, Assistant Director, Clarenciov@msn.com
Bernadette Sandy, Administrative Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org