Poets of Fireside and Hearthside: Whittier and Dunbar

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Date / Time

  • February 17, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, United States

Poets of Fireside and Hearthside: Reading Together about Race in America, with John Greenleaf Whittier and Paul Laurence Dunbar

On February 17, 1866, the Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier published a poem titled “Snow-Bound: A Winter Idyl,” a charming tale of winter in New England. But the poem also sheds light on how Whittier, a famous abolitionist, thought about the future of his country shortly after the Civil War.

Join us for an afternoon introduction to John Greenleaf Whittier and another American poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar, whose parents had been slaves. Dunbar’s sensitive insights into the racial issues of his time serve as a valuable counterpoint to Whittier’s earlier writings.  James Weldon Johnson, a friend and colleague of Dunbar who was himself a famous writer and civil rights activist, observed that Dunbar “combined mastery over poetic material and poetic technique, to reveal innate literary distinction in what he wrote”—distinction that helped Dunbar become one of the first African American writers to achieve international notoriety for his work.

At this event, we’ll enjoy hot apple cider and other refreshments, read selections from poems by these two iconic authors, view rare editions of their works, and talk about what the poets have to say to modern America.

Seating is limited; advance registration is strongly recommended.