Eugene B Redmond

Eugene B. Redmond, emeritus professor of English and Black Studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, was named Poet Laureate of East St. Louis (Illinois) in 1976, the year Doubleday released his critical history, Drumvoices: The Mission of Afro-American Poetry. Earlier, as a Teacher-Counselor and Poet-in-Residence at SIU's Experiment in Higher Education (1967-69), his colleagues included Katherine Dunham and Henry Dumas (1934-1968). Also, during the 1960s and 1970s, he helped found several Black Studies Programs and weekly newspapers, including the East St. Louis Monitor for which he wrote a weekly column and the entire editorial page for six years.

As literary executor of Dumas's estate, and with assistance from Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Amiri Baraka, Redmond edited several posthumously published volumes of his friend's writings. These included Ark of Bones (short fiction), Knees of a Natural Man (poetry), Jonoah and the Green Stone(novel) and Echo Tree (collected short fiction).

Redmond was Professor of English and Poet-in-Residence in Pan African/Ethnic Studies at California State University-Sacramento from 1970-85. While at CSUS hewon a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and an Outstanding Faculty Research/Teaching Award; and lectured at universities in the U.S., Africa, and Europe.

In 1986, East St. Louisans created the Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club in his honor. The Club turned 34 in 2020. Winner of two American Book Awards, Redmond's most recent release, after authoring/editing more than 40 collections of diverse writings, is Arkansippi Memwars: Poetry, Prose & Folklore 1962-2012 (Third World Press). In September of 2019, he read poetry at the National Museum of African American History Culture during the 25thAnniversary of the Furious Flower Poetry Center.

Having received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from SIUE in 2008, he witnessed the grand opening of the Eugene B. Redmond Collection and Learning Center in the Elijah P. Lovejoy Library in October of 2015. The Center maintains hundreds of thousands of awards, manuscripts, photos, letters, newspapers, books, journals, magazines, brochures, flyers, playbills, art works, cloth memorabilia, and syllabi from 60 years of writing, teaching, community organizing and travels.