Essex Hemphill (1957-1995)

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Essex Hemphill (1957-1995) wrote two chapbooks of poetry and one full-length poetry collection. He was raised in southeastern Washington, DC. His poems were published in the nationally-known anthology In the Life, in various other anthologies, and in the award-winning documentaries Tongues Untied and Looking for Langston. He edited Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men (1991), which won a Lambda Literary Award. His full-length collection Ceremonies: Prose and Poetry (1992) won the National Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual New Author Award. Hemphill was a visiting scholar at The Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities in 1993. His chapbooks were called Earth Life (1985) and Conditions (1986). He was an activist for civil rights, which was apparent in his poetry. DC Writers' Homes: Beltway Poetry Quarterly:

Written by Monica Root December 2013

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