Dolores Kendrick, Poet Laureate, African American Poet, African American History, Black History, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Remembering Dolores Kendrick, D.C.’s Poet Laureate, 1927–2017 | Washington City Paper The “first lady of poetry” leaves behind a rich legacy of promoting poetry throughout the District.



You don’t need to look far to find Dolores Kendrick’s mark on the city. Outside the NoMa-Gallaudet U Metro station, emblazoned below a sculpture by sculptor Barbara Grygutis, is “Journeys,” Kendrick’s brief yet formidable poem:

Go slowly in taking the steps, and fast when counting stars.

Kendrick’s marks on the District aren’t just physical. As D.C.’s second ever poet laureate—she succeeded Sterling Allen Brown, who held the position from 1984 until his death in 1989—Dolores Kendrick tirelessly advocated for poetry in classrooms and communities, developing creative writing programs within the city, and forging initiatives to incorporate the art of poetry into public life.

Kendrick served as poet laureate from 1999 until her death, from cancer complications, on Nov. 7. She was 90 years old and known as “the first lady of poetry,” according to her friend and colleague E. Ethelbert Miller.

Dolores Kendrick, Poet Laureate, African American Poet, African American History, Black History, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN


NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY & CULTURE | WASHINGTON, DC

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. (Website).