Ginny Hanson Poetry Day: The Poetry of Philip Bryant

Philip Bryant
Saturday, May 22, 2021 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
At your location, via
Zoom Link
Ellingtonia, The Great Migration and The Promised Land

This presentation will focus around two poems in my book, "The Promised Land." I will start with a short reading of the title poem of the book, "The Promised Land" and also read the poem, "Ellingtonia." I will then briefly discuss how I think the poems interface and converse with each other in terms of how they address the issue of race, culture, and citizenship in the United States.
I will offer the idea of a migratory sense of American identity, an identity that is constantly on the move and migrating toward that ideal place where it could feel most like itself in all it's colors, shades, and hues. I would like to pose the question that in a so-called plural, representative democracy as ours is there still a "Promised Land" left in our democracy for a multiracial and multiethnic American identity to migrate to?  Can we still find an Ellingtonia anywhere in the America landscape today?

Philip Bryant is Professor of English at Gustavus Adolphus College and past radio-essayist for Minnesota Public Radio, a prize winning poet, who has been published in various publications, is author of four collections of poetry, the last titled The Promised Land, treating African American themes, receiving the Benjamin Franklin Award, Silver Winner from IBPA in 2019.This presentation will focus around two poems in my book, "The Promised Land."