Wednesday April 27, 2016

Poet-in-residence

By Heather Webb, University of Dayton Archives intern and graduate student in Public History, Wright State University.

<p>In celebration of National Poetry Month, University Archives and Special Collections would like to share UD&amp;#8217;s own poetry history. Dr. Herbert Woodward Martin, Professor Emeritus of English, was for three decades the University&amp;#8217;s own Poet-in-Residence.&amp;#160;</p>

During this time, in addition to teaching classes on creative writing and poetry, Dr. Martin was also writing his own poetry. He has written nine anthologies and edited four collections of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s works.

He is perhaps most notable for his scholarship on Paul Laurence Dunbar. In 1972, Martin helped to organize a conference celebrating the 100th anniversary of Dunbar’s birth. During this celebration, Martin became enchanted with Dunbar’s poetry, a love that would continue through the rest of his career.

Martin began performing Dunbar’s works, alongside his own poetry. The two poets look remarkably similar to each other. Martin would appear wearing period clothing, reading Dunbar’s pieces in a dramatic voice, bringing them to a new life for the audience. These performances gained him national recognition, performing across the country.

Dr. Martin’s papers are currently being processed at the University Archives & Special Collections.

- Heather Webb, University of Dayton Archives intern and graduate student in Public History, Wright State University.

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