Black Cultural Events wishes Happy Birthday to poet Etheridge Knight. Born on April 19, 1931, Knight would have turned 86 years old today.
Knight was one of the most popular poets during the Black Arts Movement, receiving accolades from fellow poets such as Robert Bly, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Sonia Sanchez. He wrote his first collection, Poems from Prison, while incarcerated at the Indiana State Prison. It was published in 1968, the same year of his release. His 1972 book Belly Song and Other Poems was nominated for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Knight’s work covered topics such as incarceration, black consciousness, and black aesthetics.
Be sure to celebrate Knight and others during National Poetry Month by checking out our literary event listings.
Making jazz swing in
Seventeen syllables AIN’T
No square poet’s job.
-excerpt from “Haiku,” 1986