- Umbra Poets Workshop
- Call number
- Sc MG 538
- Physical description
- .4 linear feet (1 archival box)
- Preferred Citation
- Umbra Poets Workshop collection, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
- Access to materials
- Advance notice required. Request access to this collection.Restrictions apply
The Umbra Poets Workshop was a group of young African-American writers who met on New York City's Lower East Side from 1962 to 1965 to conduct readings and discuss writing and politics. Early members of the group included Thomas C. Dent, Calvin Hernton, Ishmael Reed, David Henderson, Joe Johnson, and Askia M. Toure (then Rolland Snellings.) They founded "Umbra," a literary magazine, in 1963. The group, known for the intensity of its readings of "street poetry," and influenced by black nationalist ideas and the African oral tradition, was among the forerunners of the Black Arts movement. The Umbra Poets Workshop collection consists of oral history interviews with fourteen of the poets, conducted by Michel Oren with one exception, Amiri Baraka, who was interviewed by fellow Umbra member, Lorenzo Thomas along with letters relating to the formation of Umbra and Calvin Hernton's activities. Lorenzo Thomas' manuscript, "Annotated Bibliography of the Umbra Workshop 1962-1982," is included.
Source of acquisition
Gift, Michel Oren, 1986, 2007
- Baraka, Amiri, 1934-2014
- Berger, Art.
- Dent, Thomas C.
- Hernton, Calvin C.
- Johnson, Joe Donald
- Poindexter, Jane
- Thomas, Lorenzo, 1944-2005
- Touré, Askia M.
- Walcott, Brenda
- Society of Umbra
- African American authors -- Interviews
- African American poets -- Interviews
- African Americans -- Intellectual life -- 20th century
- American literature -- African American authors
- American poetry -- African American authors
- Poets, American -- 20th century -- Interviews
- Poets, Black -- 20th century -- Interviews
Using the collection
LocationSchomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037-1801
Access to materialsAdvance notice required. Request access to this collection.
Transcripts and interviews with Ishmael Reed and David Henderson are closed.