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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

Poet: John Willis Menard

Dear Writers and Poets:
The Florida Humanities Council offers a fascinating series of interviews from its Radio programming.

Two of my favorite Florida historians, Canter Brown and Larry Rivers of Florida A & M, tell of their discovery of the poems of John Willis Menard first published in 1879. His words inspired them to publish his poetry and biography "Lays in Summer Lands."


Although it lasted less than two decades, the Reconstruction Period just after the Civil War was a time of hope for many African Americans. Some former slaves and free Blacks actually saw Florida as a land of opportunity. Bill Dudley reports on the rediscovery of a Black 19th Century journalist and politician whose Reconstruction-era poetry has captured the imaginations of historians and others around the state." (FHC RADIO)

Menard was a French Creole of Color. His life resonates with the same vibrancy and contrasts of Senegal's Léopold Sédar Senghor. He was not only a poet but also a politician.

Please click on the URL below. Enter "Menard" in the browse section.

Enjoy the life and poetry of Florida's John Willis Menard.

K Wyer Lane

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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