Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Schwitzer Student Center, UIndy Hall (University of Indianapolis)
FREE, open to public
This is joint production with the UIndy Black Student Association.
Randall Horton is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award, a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature, and most recently the GLCA New Writers Award for Creative Nonfiction. He is Senior Editor at Willow Books, a literary publisher dedicated to promoting diverse voices within the publishing industry. His works include the poetry collections The Definition of Place, The Lingua France of Ninth Street, and Pitch Dark Anarchy; and a memoir, Hook. As Associate Professor of English at the University of New Haven, Mr. Horton is the only person in the United States with seven felony convictions and academic tenure. He serves on PEN America’s Prison Writing Program Committee, and is a member of the experimental performance group Heroes Are Gang Leaders.
Praise for Hook: A Memoir
“The tale many African American writers tell is often about survival. In the 21st Century one must ask how long the lash? How large the prison? Randall Horton breaks free in his memoir Hook just in time to remind our nation that there are many black souls in need of salvation. Black men are not missing or absent. We simply struggle to control our own narrative. Horton in Hook gives us letters of confessions without envelopes. He has written a book that tries to convince the human spirit to stay above water. We are not sinners but beautiful swimmers refusing to drown. Hook is the memoir Etheridge Knight might have written on those nights when a haiku became nothing but a shank. When memoir turns to flesh there should be baptism and truth. I continue to be haunted by the words of Randall Horton’s father—Please, please give me my boy back. His is a life worth saving. Hook is a book worth reading and might bless our eyes. Lord, after the long rain of tears, we need to see a rainbow. A fire burns in Horton’s hands. Hook should be the next book you read.”
—E. Ethelbert Miller, Literary Activist and board chair of The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)
“Intense, beautiful and deeply moving, Hook: A Memoir is a commanding story about survival of the streets, survival of the self and the power of writing. I won’t stop thinking about this book for a very long time.”
—Crystal Wilkinson, author of Water Street
Praise for Pitch Dark Anarchy: Poems
“In Pitch Dark Anarchy, Randall Horton returns with renewed intensity to the themes that animated his acclaimed collections The Definition of Place and The Lingua Franca of Ninth Street. An extended meditation on the legacy of slavery and the Amistad rebellion serves as a kind of prefatory note, while the body of the text confronts contemporary issues of racial identity and urban decay. Through innovative formal and visual techniques, such as fractured syntax and typographical disruption, Horton evokes the disorienting experiences of urban life, while also calling into question the complicity of language in the oppressive structures he anatomizes.”
—Northwestern University Press