A poetry reading next month will be the first of several events at Wichita State University celebrating the centennial of Gordon Parks’ birth.
The reading will be from 10 a.m. to noon on March 7 at the Rhatigan Student Center fireplace lounge.
Parks was born in Fort Scott on Nov. 30, 1912. The poetry reading occurs on the sixth anniversary of his death in New York at the age of 93.
The first black photographer on the staff of Life magazine, Parks shot iconic images. He later was the first black director in Hollywood — "Gordon Parks was like the Jackie Robinson of film," Donald Faulkner, the director of the New York State Writers Institute, once said — and eventually made seven films.
He published several books and volumes of poetry, and also composed several orchestral pieces.