This is a recording of the session during which Gwendolyn Brooks and LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) read from their own poetry at the Negro Writers conference at Asilomar in August 1964. "The Negro writer in the United States" was a five-day seminar hosted by the University of California at Berkeley Extension Program, held at the Asilomar State Park in California, August 5-9, 1964. This first reel is of Gwendolyn Brooks reading her poetry and prose, beginning with her foreword to the "New Negro Poets U.S.A." anthology (ed. Langston Hughes, 1963). Brooks was the first African American writer to receive the Pulitzer Prize, and she was the poet laureate of the state of Illinois. Brooks was also the only female faculty member presenting at the conference. On the second reel Jones reads from his poetry for the first half of the recording, and the second half contains a lively question and answer session for both poets. During the discussion, the moderator asks Saunders Redding to read one of Brooks's poems.
This recording has been digitally preserved as part of Pacifica's American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982 grant preservation project, and is available for research and reference . Please contact the archives via telephone: 818-506-1077 or email: americanwomen at pacificaradioarchives dot org for information on how to obtain a copy of this program. Thank you.