Wellington performing Black Poets in NM at Old Church

Wellington performing Black Poets in NM at Old Church

Darryl Wellington, Santa Fe’s poet laureate, will take part in the talk, “Black Poets in America, in New Mexico and Beyond,” on March 19, in Corrales. (Courtesy of Corrales History Society)

Darryl Wellington has a way with words.

As Santa Fe’s Poet Laureate, he will participate in “Black Poets in America, in New Mexico and Beyond” at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 19, at the Historic Old San Ysidro Church, 966 Old Church Road, in Corrales.

The event is being put on by the Corrales History Society and its speaker series which is celebrating the poetry of Black Americans.

Guests will get to hear Wellington’s work as well as poets whose stories intersect with New Mexico history, including Jean Toomer, Jay Wright, and Anita Scott Coleman.

Hailing from the South and having worked in Charleston, South Carolina, Wellington believes the scene in Albuquerque has its similarities and differences.

“The culture is so different but there are many things that are the same as you have a lot of Black spoken word poets in the South and you have a lot of Hispanic spoken word poets here who have very similar themes of poverty and oppression,” Wellington said. “It is not a matter of the poetry scenes being different, it is a matter of the cultures being different.”

Wellington will explore the historical connections from works of Black poets from the Civil War period to the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, all the way up to today’s Black Lives Matter.

Poems related to the legacy of Blackdom, the Buffalo Soldiers, freedom movements, and poetry by Langston Hughes, Alice Walker and Ross Gay.

Wellington’s work often focuses on social issues, justice issues, and African American history.

“I like encouraging Black writers and ethnic writers to study their own culture and to develop it, and to grow from it,” Wellington said. “You need to have that confidence for the urge to really feel that where you come from is important and read widely of all things from all different perspectives.”

Wellington will also have material published in two anthologies: “In Fullness of the Word,” a collection of poems by Black Poet Laureates, and “Going for Broke,” a compilation of investigative journalism.

“Some of my favorite writers are 19th century sort of writers, American 19th century writers who wrote these long wordy books could you can learn from,” Wellington said. “You learn a lot from reading people who reflect where you come from.”

This event is free and open to the public though the seating capacity is limited to 150 people.

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