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Langston Hughes Festival

A Note From The Director

The Langston Hughes Festival announces its 35th annual award ceremony, scheduled for November 21, 2014. 

After a two-year moratorium, we are happy to award Mr. Walter Ellis Mosley the 2014 Langston Hughes medal.

This follows the Festival's momentous celebration in 2012 of the mesmerizing Haitian American writer Edwidge Danticat.

Walter Ellis Mosley, who was born January 12, 1952, has been highly celebrated for his detective fiction, featuring the hard-boiled detective Easy Rawlins, a World War II veteran, who resides in the rough and tumble Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts.

Mosley entered our consciousness in 1992 with the publication of his first published work, Devil in a Blue Dress, upon which the 1995 movie by the same name, starring Denzel Washington, is based.  Mosley infiltrated the American literary scene more assertively when President Bill Clinton announced that Mosley was one of his favorite writers. Since his debut, Mosley's work has been translated into 21 languages.

One might say that Harlem's luminous poetic beginnings started with Langston Hughes who used poetry's lyricism as a medium for voicing the life and times of African American people and their popular culture.  Mosley, like Hughes, based most of his work on the lives of working class African Americans.  And also, like Hughes, Mosley writes in several genres, including "afrofuturist" science fiction, as well as non-fiction essays primarily devoted to political themes.  And he has even tried his hand at playwriting.


We welcome your assistance in our quest to further enhance learning, friendship, and community through the examination of the amazing legacy of writers that follow in the literary tradition of Langston Hughes such as James Baldwin, Chinua Achebe, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, Octavia Butler, and Edwidge Danticat among many other literary luminaries of the African diaspora who have received this distinguish award.  Please familiarize yourself with our endeavors, award ceremonies, exhibitions, symposia, and pageants of children's voices and continue to visit our site.

I hope to see you in November.

Gordon Thompson, Director