African-American author Langston Hughes was a leading figure of the Harlem Renaissance, and interest in his works increases daily. Though remembered primarily as a poet, Hughes was active in almost every genre imaginable. He wrote newspaper articles and short stories, contributed to drama and musical theater, and penned lyrics for the blues and popular songs. He also collaborated with some of the most gifted individuals of his time, including Zora Neale Hurston, Arna Bontemps, Kurt Weill, and Elmer Rice. Through hundreds of alphabetically arranged entries, this encyclopedia provides comprehensive coverage of his life and writings.
Although Hughes was remarkably versatile, poetry is indisputably the core of his achievement. Thus, this book includes separate entries for each of his more than 850 published poems and for collections of his poetry. His short stories and songs are also covered in detail. The encyclopedia additionally provides entries for numerous topics related to his life and writings, including Marxism, McCarthyism, Modernism, Jazz, and Religion, and for the many individuals who were associated with his literary career. Most of the entries close with brief bibliographies, and the volume closes with a list of works for further reading.