Celebrate Paul Laurence Dunbar

Experience Dunbar flyer and event schedule

He saw through every cloud a gleam
He had his dream.

~ Paul Laurence Dunbar

Wright State University is celebrating the life and legacy of Paul Laurence Dunbar throughout the month of February! Here on the blog this month, we’ll be highlighting Dunbar’s work and the special events scheduled during the next few weeks in addition to our continuing story of the Patterson brothers in the Civil War.

In the Archives, we have been hard at work revising our very popular website on Paul Laurence Dunbar. The new site is now up and running, and we hope you’ll take the opportunity to explore Dunbar’s life and work through these pages. It includes more than 400 of his published poems, a gallery of images from our collection and that of the Ohio Historical Society, an updated biographical sketch, and an expanded list of resources to encourage further research on his life and work.

During the month of February, the Archives also has two exhibits highlighting our Dunbar materials. Located on the first floor near the circulation desk is an exhibit of Dunbar images that showcases the first edition printings of his published books. Up in the Archives reading room on the fourth floor of the Dunbar Library, another exhibit displays an unpublished, handwritten poem “To Anna” written by Dunbar for one of his neighbors in Dayton.

If you are in the area and are interested in learning more about Paul Laurence Dunbar, we hope you’ll join us for one or more of the events scheduled during this month. We’ll be posting more information during the month ahead, but here’s some general information about the events coming up:

Feb. 7: Opening Reception, Pathfinder Lounge, Student Union, Wright State University, 6pm. This event kicks off the celebration month. WSU President David Hopkins, University Librarian Stephen Foster, and Margaret Peters will be speaking, as will local artist Bing Davis, who will be introducing and officially opening the art exhibit in the Student Union Art Gallery. The art exhibit features artworks by Bing Davis and several other local artists.

Feb. 8: Dr. Herbert Martin, Pathfinder Lounge, Student Union, Wright State University, 6pm. Dr. Martin is one of the leading Dunbar scholars, and his portrayal and recitation of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s works is something not to be missed!

Feb. 16: His Poetry, Our Way, Endeavour Room, Student Union, Wright State University, 6pm. This event is an open mic night with individuals reading Dunbar’s poetry and creative writings inspired by his poetry. There will also be some jazz musicians accompanying the readings throughout the evening.

Feb 20: Dunbar House Fireside Chat, 6pm. Mr. Charles Austin will be doing a Fireside Chat called “Dunbar’s Legacy Revisited: Truth Revealed/Lies Exposed and More). There will be a reception following the chat and opportunities to tour the NPS Interpretive Center exhibits.

Feb. 23: Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Apollo Room, Student Union, Wright State University, 12 noon. DCDC will be performing their interpretive dance performance honoring Dunbar.

All events are free and open to the public.

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