The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Hurston ad the Harlem Renaissance

Paul Laurence Dunbar. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In honor of Black History Month, we're turning to some archival audio of poet Rita Dove reading Paul Laurence Dunbar, who is widely acknowledged as one of the first important African-American poets in American literature. "We Wear the Mask," a gripping poem about oppression, is from his collection, Lyrics of Lowly Life, published in 1896 with an introduction by William Dean Howells.

[audio:http://bigreadblog.arts.gov//audio/DoveDunbar.mp3]

[transcript]

Dove just added a National Medal of the Arts to her glowing resume. Check out our podcast with her here.

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