Harlem Writers Guild

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Harlem Writers Guild (HWG) is the oldest organization of African-American writers, founded in 1950 by John Oliver Killens, Rosa Guy, John Henrik Clarke, Willard Moore and Walter Christmas.[1]

History[edit]

The Harlem Writers Guild was set up as a forum where African-American writers could develop their craft. After funding for an organization active in the late 1940s called "The Committee for the Negro in the Arts" ended, these writers felt excluded from the mainstream literary culture of New York City.[2] The HWG was also part of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, and its rationale continues to be to develop and aid in the publication of works by writers of the African diaspora.[1] Other writers who have been associated with the HWG include Lonne Elder III, Douglas Turner Ward, Ossie Davis, Paule Marshall, Audre Lorde, Maya Angelou and Sarah E. Wright.[3]

In 1977, the HWG was honored by the United Nations (UN) Society of Writers.[1] In 1986, John O. Killens estimated that members of the Harlem Writers Guild had produced more than 300 published works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, and screenplays. Several have received literary acclaim. Past and present members include: Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Grace F. Edwards, Rosa Guy, Rachel DeAragon, John Oliver Killens, Walter Dean Myers, Louise Meriwether, Karen Robinson, Dr. Olubansile Abbas Mimiko and Sarah E. Wright, Audrey Lorde, Paule Marshall, Julian Mayfield, Terry McMillan, Robert McNatt, Lofton Mitchell, Wilbert Oliver, Funmi Osoba, Sidney Poitier, Charles Russell, K. C. Washington, Minnette Coleman, Gammy Singer, Wilbert Tatum, Brenda Wilkinson, Valerie Wilson Wesley, Sarah Elizabeth Wright, Sandra L. West, Doris Jean Austin, William H. Banks Jr., Wesley Brown, Rosemary Bray, Irving Burgie, Judy C. Andrews, Godfrey Cambridge, Andrea Broadwater, Alice Childress, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, James DeJongh, Lonne Elder III, Donis Ford, Bill William Forde, Lorraine Hansberry, Bob Desverney, Dr. Beryl Dorsett, Sheila Doyle, Lloyd Hairston, Robert Hooks, Rose James, Alfonso Nicks, and Betty Ann Jackson. Among writers more recently added to the HWG roster are: Angela Dews, Cordenia Paige, Eartha Watts-Hicks, Sylvia White, and Miriam Kelly Ferguson.

Harlem Writers Guild Press[edit]

In 2000, HWG announced a partnership with the digital publisher iUniverse to create its own imprint, Harlem Writers Guild Press. The anthology Beloved Harlem: A Literary Tribute to Black America's Most Famous Neighborhood (Random House, 2005), edited by William H. Banks Jr., former Executive Director of HWG, featured work by HWG members including Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Grace F. Edwards, Rosa Guy, Rachel DeAragon, John Oliver Killens, Walter Dean Myers, Louise Meriwether, Funmi Osoba, Diane Richards, Karen Robinson, Dr. Olubansile Abbas Mimiko and Sarah E. Wright.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "History", Harlem Writers Guild.
  2. ^ Gerald D. Jaynes, "Harlem Writers Guild", Encyclopedia of African American Society, SAGE Publications, Inc., 2005, ISBN 9780761927648. Online September 15, 2007. DOI: 10.4135/9781412952507, ISBN 9781412952507.
  3. ^ C. Gerald Fraser, "John Oliver Killens, 71, Author And Founder of Writers' Group", The New York Times, October 30, 1987.

External links[edit]