March 28, 2022
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.
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?
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?
- Explore resources and lesson plans on poetry.
- Try writing a brief poem capturing the sort of everyday experience you wrote about as an answer to the focus question.
- For classrooms looking for a longer activity with a more specific topic, see this lesson on “pandemic poetry”.
Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Extra.
PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.