Lift Every Voice: Why African American Poetry Matters

Afrian American Literature
Friday, February 21, 2020

A Library of America Project funded with generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Emerson Collective. Fifty $1,200 grants will be awarded to libraries, museums, and nonprofit cultural institutions to host a minimum of two public programs. Applications are open to public, academic, and community college libraries; and nonprofit museums and community organizations.

All participating institutions will present a minimum of two programs, at least one of which must be a discussion/reading group moderated by a scholar of African American literature designed to draw out and explore the project themes.


Institutions selected to participate in Lift Every Voice will receive:

• A $1,200 grant to support free public programming. Grants may be used for: stipends for a local poet and/or scholar; travel expenses; honoraria; actors/performers fees; publicity and advertising; refreshments; or other costs associated with programming.

• A copy of African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song, a hardcover anthology edited Kevin Young to be published by Library of America in September 2020.

• The Lift Every Voice Reader (PDF), available for free download at the project website (below). project site featuring multimedia resources for public programming and individual discovery, including video readings and commentary by scholars, poets, actors, musicians, and others; a free down-loadable reader of key poems, with commentary and questions for discussion; a calendar of events; and links to other resources.

• An online site support notebook, with tools for planning and publicizing programs, including downloadable press

• An orientation webinar for site coordinators and scholars/facilitators covering interpretive materials, public relations,
and logistics.

• A best-practices webinar designed to assist sites in addressing special issues involved in presenting programming dealing with race.

• Programming support throughout the grant period.


For more information, and to apply, visit the website: