Featured Artist: E. Ethelbert Miller

E. Ethelbert Miller, #3Literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller is DCCAH’s featured artist of the week. Miller is a renowned poet that has practiced in DC for almost 40 years. Since 1974 he has served as the director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University. During that time, he has chaired the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, hosted a weekly radio program on WPFW and served on the boards of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA), and the Edmund Burke school. He currently sits on the board for the Capitol Letters Writing Center and serves as an editor for the African American Review. Read more about his credentials on his website.

In 1979, Marion Barry declared September 28 “E. Ethelbert Miller Day.” He has also been awarded the Mayor’s Art Award for literature in 1982, the Public Humanities Award of  the DC Humanities Council in 1988, and the Columbia Merit Award from the literary community of Washington in 1993.

Divine Love is one of Miller’s most renowned works. Read more poems on his website or on Poetry Quarterly.


Divine Love (For Alexs & SooJin)

I wish I had loved you many years ago

I would have loved you like Ellington loved Jazz and Bearden loved scissors.

I would have loved you like Langston loved Harlem and the Blues loved Muddy Waters.

I would have loved you like Douglass loved to read and Garvey loved parades.

I would have loved you like Zora loved stories and DuBois loved suits.

I would have loved you like Lewis boxing and Mahalia loved to sing.

I would have loved you like Carver loved peanuts and Wheatley loved poems.

I would have loved you like Jimmy loved Lorraine and Ossie loved Ruby…

I would have loved you like King loved Jesus and Malcolm loved Allah

–E.Ethelbert Miller

Photo courtesy of Tom Terrell Photography.

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About Art(202)

Since 1968, the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) has developed and promoted local artists, organizations and activities.
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