Gwendolyn Brooks on Langston Hughes:

“I met Langston Hughes when I was sixteen. When I went to Metropolitan Community Church to show him some of my poems at the behest of my mother who accompanied me and saw to it that I did this. He was most kind and read the poems right there after his reading and told me that I had talent and that I should keep writing. Later I met him again because he came to a poetry workshop that a reader on the staff of Poetry Magazine had started at the Southside Community Center. Her name was Inez Cunningham Stark. And he attended one of the meetings. People who belonged to this group were Bill Couch, Margaret Burroughs, Fern Gayden, Margaret Cunningham, who is now Margaret Danner and Edward Bland. Langston Hughes was mostly excited about the work that we were reading and he predicted a beautiful future for all of us. Later on still I gave a party for him when I lived at 623 Sixty-third Street and there were about seventy-five people or so crowded into our little two room kitchenette, and nobody had a better time than Langston Hughes who was real “folk”. Never any airs or pomposities from him. And as you say, he has helped a great many young people. Showing interest in their work and encouraging them.”

Excerpted from Conversations With Gwendolyn Brooks