Posted by amybou on:
It’s Langston Hughes’s birthday today and Sojourner Kincaid Rolle is reading at SBCC on Thursday, February 9—what a perfect occasion to start my "Literary Santa Barbara" column. There is quite a literary scene in town, if you know where to look, so I will be posting about local authors, literary readings, recommended reading, and more. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below. I'd love to know what you'd like to see in terms of local literary coverage.
I first heard Sojourner read during National Poetry Month last April at a reading at the Contemporary Arts Forum, and her poem set in Harlem blew me away. It was one of those I-can’t-believe-I’m-hearing-art-this-good-in-Santa Barbara moments. Not that we don’t have talented artists living and working here in town, but the performing and visual arts seem to get a lot more attention than the literary arts, both in terms of press coverage and frequency of performances. So hearing Sojourner’s work in Santa Barbara was an exciting revelation, especially after living in cities where there is a more immediately apparent and vibrant literary scene (New York, Austin) as well as more resources for poets and writers. I'm looking forward to the reading next week, and learning more about Sojourner's ten-year tradition of celebrating Langston Hughes's birthday.
An Evening with Sojourner Kincaid Rolle starts at 6:15pm on Thursday, February 9 at Santa Barbara City College. The event is in honor of Black History Month. For more details, see the Facebook invite.
Who are your favorite local authors? What was the last literary reading you went to in town?