Web Site Highlights Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Poetry
Nearly 100 years after his death in 1906, Paul Laurence Dunbar, one of the first African Americans to gain national prominence as a poet, is reaching a new, large and appreciative audience because of the Internet. The Paul Laurence Dunbar Web site, sponsored by the University of Dayton, has drawn more than 125,000 visitors since its debut in 2003. Web site viewers have made an average of more than 750 visits daily to learn of Dunbar, and to read and hear his poetry.
The poems are read by Dr. Herbert Woodward Martin, professor emeritus of English at the University of Dayton, who is a poet and, like Dunbar, a native of Dayton. According to Martin, Dunbar “leaps over the strictures and boundaries: race, religion, sexual preference, politics, socio-economic backgrounds and touches his readers where it matters most, in the heart.”
This spring, a Penguin Classics edition of Dunbar’s selected poems will be published. The volume will be edited by Martin. The Web site can be viewed at <www.plethoreum.org/dunbar/>.
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