Please find below testimonials from some of our NEH Summer Scholars. For photos and conversation, please visit Don't Deny My Voice on Facebook.

“The Institute was thorough and detailed. The greatest benefit to me was an opportunity to map the African American poetic tradition from its beginning to current time. I was able to identify major works and authors I have not yet engaged, develop a sense of the major themes and goals, and obtain a sense of the evolution of the tradition. As a result, I will be able to better identify, discuss and engage my students through syllabi and course materials that carefully choose authors and works that reflect these developments.” – NEH Summer Scholar

“The overall arc of the seminar worked effectively, giving us a greater grounding in the continuity of the traditions of African American poetry.” – NEH Summer Scholar

“I learned a multitude of things, including pedagogical approaches, during this Institute. The organizers clearly put together a rigorous three weeks that aimed to approach African American poetry in a coherent and methodical manner with innovative discussions and presentations throughout. There is no way to measure how much I learned and gained during the Institute, but African American poetry will be present in all my future course syllabi and I am confident in teaching different poets and time periods.” – NEH Summer Scholar

“This was an amazingly enriching experience, which I can already envision incorporating into both my teaching and scholarship. In addition to being exposed to a number of theoretical frameworks through which to approach African American poetry in my own work, we also regularly discussed the potential implications of our discussions within the classroom setting.” – NEH Summer Scholar

“What a productive week! There were concrete models provided for both reading and teaching the poetry. What really impressed me this week, however, was that were given tangible items to take with us to our classrooms. We were also exposed to a host of Black Arts poetry that may have been overlooked in anthologies (or the lack thereof). [Resident Faculty] Rambsy gave us a different perspective on the Black Arts movement, and his creativity in teaching and community efforts has served as an inspiration.” – NEH Summer Scholar

“[Resident Faculty] Dr. Rambsy has been incredibly generous in sharing his ideas and strategies as a teacher. I feel like I've been given not just teaching tips but a whole new paradigm for how to set up and relate to a class.” – NEH Summer Scholar

“I not only have new material to teach, a fresh approach to old subject material, but perhaps most importantly a new network of smart, committed colleagues that are interested in making African American poetry accessible and exciting for a new generation of students.” – NEH Summer Scholar

“On a very personal note, I must say that I greatly appreciated the way our organizers and resident faculty members strove to build community among the scholars very early on. This made for a rich and moving three weeks with colleagues who were immediately very invested in the institute. In addition, opportunities for scholars to share their work and ideas were abundant. I especially appreciated that modeling of inclusive pedagogical practices in which the power in a classroom space is decentered. The level of collegiality was great and allowed for amicable intellectual sparring.” – NEH Summer Scholar

“Many sessions entailed multimedia, all of which worked. Many participants expressed gratitude during the institute for being able to use such high quality resources, esp. since the same high quality or extensiveness is not available at their home institutions. I shared this reaction.” – NEH Summer Scholar