About the Hurricanes Roar Poetry: Emilie Townes course
Celebrating Black Poetry in Western Spirituality
The great Barbadian poet Edward Kamau Brathwaite famously described the difference between the music of Caribbean poetry and the pedestrian rhythms of Standard English through a reference to the power of island weather: ‘the hurricane does not roar in pentameters’. This series of online events organised with the Oxford Centre for Religion and Culture listens to the sound of the hurricane in contemporary culture by shining a light on the integral role that Black poetic voices have played in the development of western, particularly Anglo-American spirituality.
There is a free ticket option for OCRC Research Associates, Visiting Associates and Emeritus Associates.
The first speaker, Emilie Townes, is an American Baptist clergywoman and theologian who draws deeply on a poetic voice. She was the first African American to serve as Dean of the Vanderbilt University Divinity School and the first African American woman president of the American Academy of Religion.
Townes will reflect on her theological and poetic work and on the art that has inspired her through a mixture of readings, interview and Question +Answer session.
In the second session on 30 October, Dr Beth Dodd and Father Jarel Robinson-Brown will discuss the process of compiling a collection of meditations on Black Poetry and its contribution to British spiritual life. They will reflect on their own positionality, on the poetry that inspires them, and on the evolution of a society that has gospel choirs in royal weddings and coronations, and Grime artists releasing worship songs.
In the third session on 6 November, Professor Willie James Jennings will reflect on his theological and poetic work and on the art that has inspired him through a mixture of readings, interview and Question +Answer session.