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poet cornelius eady

PBS NewsHour Classroom

Poet Cornelius Eady on the Everyday Lives of Black People in America

March 28, 2022

Poet Cornelius Eady on the Everyday Lives of Black People in America


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The National Book Critics Circle is presenting the Black poetry group “Cave Canem” with the inaugural Toni Morrison Achievement Award, saying “no institution has played such a definitive role in shaping the poetry of the 21st century.” NewsHour reporter Jeffrey Brown spoke with poet Cornelius Eady, who co-founded the group and continues to shape the landscape of American literature.

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Cornelius Eady Discussion Questions

  • Who is Cornelius Eady and what is his background?
  • Why is Eady being honored by the National Book Critics Circle?
  • How is poetry “needed” according to Eady?
  • What are some of the topics Eady’s poetry explores?
  • What is Cave Canem, and why did Eady help start it?

Focus Questions

If you were going to write a poem about some aspect of “everyday life” as you experience it now, what would you choose?

Media literacy: What do you think Eady means when he say, “Imagination is needed — you need to imagine,” after Jeffrey Brown questions the need for poetry and spaces dedicated to poetry?

Additional Resources

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Extra.

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