2008- Present  Poet Laureate, City of Boston

                       Job Description

Promoting poetry in the City of Boston and elsewhere in Massachusetts through readings and other public appearances, consulting and workshops.


1982- 2004     Instructor

                       Dept. of Writing and Publishing, Emerson College, Boston

                       Job Description:

Courses in literature, creative writing and minority/ethnic literature. Developed courses on the Beat Generation, Literature of the American West, The Harlem Renaissance, Gay Literature, The Literature of War in the 20 th Century.


1979-1982      Literature Director

                       Mass. Council on the Arts and Humanities

                       Job Description:

Represented Mass. writers and publishers to the Arts Council; chaired annual panel meetings to determine funding; supervised a small press distribution program of books and periodicals to libraries in Massachusetts; sought literary organizations to participate in the Council’s funding program and prepared those organizations for funding eligibility; gathered information and assistance from other funding agencies to improve the quality of literary funding in Mass.


1969-1979      Educational Advisor

                       Project Followthrough, Education Development Center, Newton, MA

                       Job Description:

Created writing materials for teachers and parents, grades 1-3; organized parents and administrators to provide them with information about open education and curriculum materials; worked with previously developed materials in classroom materials in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC.


1964-1966      Educational Consultant and Curriculum Specialist

                       Central Atlantic Regional Education Laboratory, Washington, DC.

                       Job Description:

Designed literary materials for classroom use and demonstrated them to teachers; other duties identical to those at Follow Through (above).


1960-1964      Cultural Liaison, Community Action Program

                       Enoch Pratt Public Library Baltimore, MD

                       Job Description:

Determined book selection for neighborhood library center; held writing workshops with neighborhood residents and edited a monthly publication of same (still extant); consulted on literary and cultural programs for the community center; was a liaison between library, community and community center.



1992-1993      Visiting Instructor, Holy Cross College, Worcester, on African-American poetry

1992                Museum of Fine Arts, for Black Literature Program Series

1992                Annual Fiction Contest, Boston Magazine

1991                Panelist and Moderator, UrbanArts, Boston, Poetry Contest

1989                Consultant for UrbanArts, Boston on creation/installation of A. Philip Randolph statue in Back Bay Station, Boston

1986-1988       Director, Literature Project for the MBTA Orange Line, under the auspices of UrbanArts, Boston.

1983-1988       Instructor, Boston Adult Education Center, Boston, MA

                        Courses in fiction, poetry, publishing

1984-1986      Book reviewer, The Christian Science Monitor

1983-present   Consultant in creative writing, black history and literature for various public and private schools, giving readings, lectures and workshops.

1979-1980      Poet-in-Residence, Emerson College, Boston MA



BOOKS          An Apron Full of Beans (CavanKerry Press, 2008)

                       To Cross A Parted Sea (Zoland Books, 1996)

                       Folks Like Me (Zoland Books, 1992)

                       1935–A Prose Memoir (Ploughshares Books, 1990)

                       Songs of Jubilee–New & Selected Poems (Unicorn Press, 1985)

                       Sam’s World–Poems (Decatur House, Ltd., 1980)

                       Generations–Poems (Beacon Press, 1967)

                       Grandmother’s Pictures (1967,1970,1974)

                                              (Bookstore Press, Bradbury Press, Avon Books)

                       Your Hand in Mine (Harcourt Brace, 1964)




                       Sometimes (Pym Randall Press)

                       Winters (Sans Souci Press)

                       In This Corner (Fleming-McAlister Press)

                       People Beneath the Window (Sacco Pub.)



Poems included in the following:

                       American Literary Anthology (Viking Press)

                       New Black Poetry (Morrow)

                       Black Fire (Morrow)

                       Drum Voices (Doubleday)

                       New Voices in American Poetry (Winthrop Pub.)

                       English for a New Generation (McGraw Hill)

                       Memory of Kin (M.H. Washington, ed.) (Doubleday)

                       Our Daily Bread (Kathleen Aguero, ed.)

                       Poetry Connection (Poets and Writers)

                       Poetry of Black America (Harper & Row)

                       You Better Believe It (Penguin Pub.)

                        Daily Fare Kathleen Aguero, ed. (University of Georgia)

                        An Ear To The Ground Harris & Aguero, Editors (University of Georgia)

                        Beneath Another Sky (Scott Foresman – Textbook)

                        Generations Arnold Adoff, Editor (Follet)

                        Men Of Our Time Moraarco & Zolynas, Editors (U of Georgia Press)

                        Crossing Boundries Mc Graw Hill – Textbook

                        Rereading America Beford Books/St. Martins Textbook

                        African American Alphabet Hausman & Rodriques, Editors St. Martins

                        The Garden Thrives Clarence Major, Editor

                        Reflections On A Slice Of Water Pickle Scott Foresman – Textbook

                        Pierced By A Ray Of Light (Harper & Row)

                        Letters To America Jim Daniels, Editor (Wayne State University Press)

                        Memory Of Kin Mary Helen Washington, Editor (Doubleday)



                       Poems have appeared in many periodicals, including: Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Essence Magazine, Angi Review, Evergreen Review, University of Tampa Poetry Review, Black Poetry, Work, Obsidian, Greenfield Review, Ann Arbor Review, Camels Coming, Hiram Review, Grand Street Magazine..


CURRICULUM MATERIALS (Developed for E.D.C. Followthrough program)

                       Creative Writing Handbook for Teachers and Parents

                       BiCentennial Program/Play for Black History Month

                       Harriet Tubman, a pamphlet of writing exercises

                       My Daddy’s People, a pamphlet and broadsides based on the local history of Paterson, NJ



Editor, Chicory (periodical/book); Book Review Editor, Fiction, Literature & the Arts Review; Publisher/Editor, Mimeo Magazine and Beanbag Press; Guest Editor, Ploughshares, Ann Arbor Review; book reviews published in The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The West Coast Review of Books, Contemporary Literary Criticism, Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, Boston Review, Essence Magazine, Fusion Magazine, Ploughshares, Harvard Book Review, Boston Review of Books. As subject: critical article in Contemporary Literature, Fall/Winter 1992; extended review of book 1935 in Kenyon Review, Fall 1992; 1935 subject of review on “All Things Considered,” National Public Radio, 1991; Review of To Cross A Parted Sea, Winter Issue, Boston Review Of Books (1996). Review in Shenandoah (1973) for Generations; Review in Southern Humanities Review (1992) for 1935; Reviews in Publishers Weekly (various dates) for Grandmother's Pictures (several editions) Forthcoming: anthologized and critiqued with other African-American Writers in Writing America Black  By C. K. Doreski  (Oxford University Press/1998?)




                       St. Botolph Society Foundation Award, 1992 (NEA)

                       Grant, Mass. Council on the Arts, (1990) “Mass Productions” – to write 1935.

                       NEA Fellowship (1967)

                       NEA Award (given writers published in the American Lit. Anth.)

                       ALA Notable Book Citations (for Grandmother’s Pictures and Chicory)

                       Provincetown Poetry Workshop (1997)

                       Have served on the following literature panels:

                       Bunting Institute, Radcliffe College

                       C.C.L.M., New York

                       Artists’ Foundation, Massachusetts);

                       Langston Hughes Symposium, Fine Arts Center, Concord, NH



                       Listed in the following reference works:

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Something About the Author, Poets and Writers Directory, Directory of American Poets, Oxford Encyclopedia of African-American Literature, Contemporary American Literature.



Poetry readings given at the following places: Simmons College (“An Evening With Sam Cornish”), The Ellen LaForge Poetry Society, Harvard University, Emerson College, Museum of Fine Arts/Boston, Wellesley College, Johns Hopkins Univ., Morgan State College, Longwood Teachers’ College, Mass. Institute of Technology, Univ. of W. Virginia, Oberlin College, Boston Public Library, Blacksmith House, University of Mass., (Boston and Amherst), University of Kentucky, Keene State College, Daniel Webster College, Blacksmith  House, Boston Public Library, Brighton Public Library, Boston Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Worcester Poetry Association, Boston University, Brattle Theatre (celebrating Zoland Books), Grolier Reading Series Adams House, Jamaica Plain Arts Center, Cultural Connections Bookstore; Emerson College (Afro-American History Poems).