Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Carolyn Rodgers?

A couple weeks ago I was a participant in a great little conference at Howard University titled THE BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT REVISITED. As always seems to happen when there is a discussion of the Black Arts era, people were wondering out loud about what had become of Carolyn Rodgers, who had been one of the better poets out of Chicago and had published important essays in BLACK WORLD and elsewhere. Nobody seemed to have any up-to-date information about her. Today, while I was looking for something else, I found a Chicago Public Library web page that carried a notice of a poetry workshop by a "Carolyn Rodgers" that happened last week. Can this possibly be the author of HOW I GOT OVAH, or is it just another person with the same name? anybody know?


Paul Hoover said...

Dear Aldon: Maxine Chernoff and I were in Chicago during those years but were only coming into the scene at the time Carolyn Rogers was already departing from it. The gossip was that she had an emotional crisis and thereafter became an active participant in her church. Apparently she still lives on the South Side. I believe that Carolyn Rogers was a part of the Nommo workshop of the 1960s and 70s, taught by Gwendolyn Brooks. Among the other people involved in Nommo were Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee), who runs Third World Press and teaches at Chicago State University, Walter Bradford, and Angela Jackson, who taught with me for roughly five years in the 1980s at Columbia College Chicago. In the 1970s, there was a lot of communication between the Nommo poets above and the Body Politic scene on the North Side, but not once did I see Carolyn Rogers at any Body Politic events or any other public literary events in the city. She was and apparently still is a private person. Haki Madhubuti would know of her whereabouts.

lewispants said...

I don't know if you all learned this, but Carolyn Rodgers passed away on April 2, 2010. Apparently it was cancer. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news--I am actually just a journalist writing a story on her and came across your blog.