Here are a baker’s dozen of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poems brought to life in the medium he always wrote for – the spoken word. As narrated by Bobby Norfolk, these poems evoke the range of moods, from elegy to wonder to celebration, that the poet is remembered for.
Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1872, to parents who were both former slaves. From this humble and impoverished background, he went on to achieve international recognition for his work, which he alternately rendered in African-American dialect and in standard English. His work was popular with both black and white readers. Though he died of tuberculosis at the age of 33, his output was prolific. Before his death, he published 12 poetry collections, four short-story collections, one play, and five novels.