To commemorate the 90th anniversary of Langston Hughes's poem "The Weary Blues," Arnold Rampersad and David Roessel, co-editors of The Selected Letters of Langston Hughes, discuss Hughes's life and legacy and the timelessness of his work.
Arnold Rampersad is Senior Associate Dean for the Humanities at Stanford University, where he is also Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities and a member of the English department. He is a recipient of fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He is also an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has written for The New Republic, The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times Book Review, and The Washington Post.
David Roessel is the Peter and Stella Yiannos Professor of Greek Language and Literature at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He is the editor, with Arnold Rampersad, of The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, as well as the coeditor of The Collected Poems of Tennessee Williams and Mister Paradise and Other One-Act Plays by Tennessee Williams. His book In Byron's Shadow: Modern Greece in the English Language and American Imagination was awarded the annual MLA Prize for Independent Scholars.