Raymond R. Patterson lectures at the University of Connecticut
- 1983 - 1987
Poet and English professor Raymond Patterson delivered 3 lectures. His work appeared in numerous publications and poetry anthologies. He spoke to the course on 11/1/1983 (2015-0002/RR244), 9/16/1986 (2015-0002/RR245), and 9/15/1987 2015-0002/RR246).
Patterson was the author of 26 Ways of Looking at a Black Man and Other Poems, Elemental Blues, as well as two librettos written for operas composed by UConn professor Hale Smith. Smith set Patterson’s poetry to other compositions as well. Patterson’s poetry also appeared in publications like Transatlantic Review, Ohio Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal and anthologies including The Poetry of the Negro, New Black Voices, The Norton Introduction to Literature, and The Best American Poetry 1996.
In addition to Patterson’s career as a poet, he was on faculty at City College of the City University of New York, and was founder of the Langston Hughes Festival, which he directed from 1973-1993.
Biographical / Historical
Raymond Richard Patterson (December 14, 1929 - April 5, 2001) was an American poet, opera librettist, and educator.
Born in Harlem, Raymond Patterson moved to Long Island with his family as a teenager and remained in the New York area most of his life. Patterson received a B.A. from Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), M.A. in English from New York University in 1954. Patterson taught English at Benedict College in South Carolina, in the New York City public schools, and at City University of New York, where he was a professor from 1968 until 1992.
He served as an executive board member of the Poetry Society of America, PEN American Center, and the Walt Whitman Birthplace. In 1973, Patterson founded the Langston Hughes Festival at CUNY and served as its director until 1993.
Patterson wrote librettos for two operas by Hale Smith – David Walker and Goree – and his work was also featured in Three Patterson Lyrics, another composition by Hale Smith, which premiered at Alice Tully Hall in 1985.
Patterson was also a well-known figure on the Long Island poetry landscape, a dignified voice for poetry who served for many years as a mentor to many individual writers regionally. His poetry also appeared in publications like Transatlantic Review, Ohio Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal, as well as in many anthologies including The Poetry of the Negro, New Black Voices, The Norton Introduction to Literature, and "The Best American poetry of 1996.
Ray Patterson died on April 5, 2001, at the age of 71.
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_R._Patterson / https://aaregistry.org/story/raymond-r-patterson-a-poet-from-harlem/ / https://furiousflower.org/raymond-patterson/ / https://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/12/arts/raymond-patterson-71-poet-and-professor.html]
Existence and Location of Originals
Original audio recordings reside in the University of Connecticut, Black Experience in the Arts Collection, Archives & Special Collections, UConn Library.
- African American authors Subject Source: Fast
- African American poets Subject Source: Fast
- African Americans Subject Source: Fast
- African Americans in popular culture Subject Source: Fast
- Black Experience in the Arts Course (University of Connecticut) -- Sound recordings Subject Source: Local sources
- Librettists Subject Source: Fast