THEATER REVIEW | At the Guthrie Theater, “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been…” is resonant and affecting

Nighttime in Harlem was a refuge for poet and author Langston Hughes. Icon of the Harlem Renaissance (though he was abroad for much of it), Hughes brought the rhythm of jazz to his poetry. In “Harlem Night Song,” Hughes writes, “Across the Harlem rooftops/ Moon is shining./ Night sky is blue./ Stars are great drops/ Of golden dew.” When we find him hunched at his typewriter, however, the night offers none of its usual solace. Awaiting his appearance in front of Senator McCarthy’s Committee on Government Operations, Hughes is a man isolated from his home and country.

Continue Reading

Macalester College slam poetry team enhance the Capital City’s national name

Lit up in an otherwise dark Macalester dorm basement, Neil Hilborn serves as tonight’s slam emcee. His frame taut beneath his signature suspenders and his slicked golden hair restless beneath his agitated hand, he knows how to rile up a sometimes reluctant room. As the Macalester slam poetry team’s assistant coach, Hilborn regularly rallies a crowd of roughly 90 college students. Not too long ago, he was on that stage as a member of the team. And even a college nationals-winning poet like himself has had to deal with the arbitrary justice of slam’s randomly selected judges.

Continue Reading