NW Quadrant, East of Rock Creek, African American, Hosts of Literary Salons, Howard University, LGBTQ

Owen Dodson
(November 28, 1914 – June 21, 1983)

1813 16th St. NW, historic Striver's Section neighborhood, DC.

Dodson was chair of the Drama Department at Howard University from 1940 to 1970. His three books of poems are Powerful Long Ladder (1940), The Confession Stone: Song Cycles (1970), and The Harlem Book of the Dead (1978). His two novels are Boy at the Window (1951) and Come Home Early Child (1977). Dodson wrote over 30 plays, operas, and works for theater, including Divine Comedy (1938), The Garden Time (1939), Bayou Legend (1948), Medea in Africa (1959), The Confession Stone (1960), and Till Victory is Won (1965).

Dodson lived in his apartment on 16th Street, where, according to his authorized biography, Sorrow Is the Only Faithful One (1993), he "held court for nearly twenty years."  He rented two apartments in a building owned by May Miller.  His biographer, James V. Hatch, writes: "There, students saw a home with original paintings, with shelf upon shelf of theater, art, and poetry books, with stacks of classical records; and there they marveled at the two carousel horses that held up the round glass table."  In 1965, he vacated his two apartments when Miller decided to sell the building, and moved to a smaller, two-bedroom apartment at the Columbia Rd. address, until his early retirement from Howard University at age 54, in 1967.  When he retired, he moved to New York.


Also home of May Miller .

1707 Columbia Rd. NW, Adams Morgan neighborhood, DC
Links

Beltway Poetry Quarterly, "Owen Dodson: An African American Classic"

Photo of author courtesy of Library of Congress.