Langston HughesLangston Hughes (February 1, 1902, - May 22, 1967) was an African American poet, novelist, playwright, and newspaper columnist. He was born in Joplin, Missouri. He was raised by his grandfather, and when he was thirteen years old he began to write poetry.
Hughes’ early life prepared him well to write about humanity, for as a child and young man he lived in many places and met many different kinds of people . His growing -up years were, altogether, not very happy. But they provided him with experiences that many people never have. It was in Topeka, Kansas where he stayed with his mother, that he discovered books.
Like many creative Americans at the time, such as Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes spent time in Paris, France. During the height of the great gathering of minds in Montparnasse, for most of 1924, he lived at 15, rue de Nollet.
In November 1924 he moved to Washington D.C. Hughes first book of poetry. “The Weary Blues”. One of his biographers stated that in 1930 his first novel Not Without laughter won the Harmon goal medal for literature. Hughes, who claimed Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Carl Sandburg, and Walt Whitman as his primary influences, is particularly known for his insightful, color portrayals of black life in America from the twenties through the sixties.
He wrote novels, short stories and plays, as well as poetry, and is also known for his engagement with the world of jazz and the influence it had on his writing, as in “Montage of a Dream Deferred”.
- What happens to a dream deferred?
- Does it dry up
- like a raisin in the sun?
- Or fester like a sore-
- And then run?
- Does it stink like rotten meat?
- Or crust and sugar over-
- like a syrupy sweet?
- Maybe it just sags
- like a heavy load.
- Or does it explode?
Much of Langston’s poetry tries to capture the rhythms of blues music, the music he believed to be the true expression of the black spirit. His published works through 1965 include nine volumes of poetry, eight of short stories and sketches, two novels seven children’s books, a quantity of plays, essays, translation, and a two-volume autobiography. Hughes was inducted into the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1961.
Langston Hughes died of complications from prostate cancer in New York.
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2 A Poem by Langston Hughes: "Cross"
3 External link
A Poem by Langston Hughes: "Cross"