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Sam Cornish Retrospective

February 22, 2006
Linda K. Paresky Conference Center
7:00 - 8:30p.m.

"Sam Cornish's reading at Simmons College under the auspices of the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Center was a tremendous success. In the first place, the mix of students and the various admirers of Cornish from outside Simmons in the large and appreciative audience was most impressive. Cornish's performance of his poems perfectly displayed the balance between broad humor, sly wit, and understated, but deep passion that characterizes much of his best work. While the harmonizing of these elements, not to mention science fiction, hard-boiled detective novels, African American history and culture, and Cornish's other incredibly diverse enthusiasms, might seem like an impossible task, he pulled it off with aplomb. His funny, personal, and occasionally outrageous framings of the poems were particularly helpful for the students, who got a first-hand view into the way at least one serious and accomplished poet works. I was particularly moved by the poems about Cornish's brother. Many thanks to the Hurston Center for providing such a good poet (and good reader of his work) a venue."

— Jim Smethurst