Love to Langston

By Riverbank Review

Medina’s poems are accessible yet spirited and imaginative evocations of a poet’s inner life, set in a narrative context. They borrow patterns of repetition from the blues and syncopated rhythms from jazz. Medina’s poems are beautifully accompanied by R. Gregory Christie’s paintings, which recall the folkloric work of other African American artists, such as William Johnson and Faith Ringgold. Christie’s art features vibrant colors, bold brush strokes, and simple compositions. His use of the color red, whether for school desktops, a brownstone’s steps, or the stripes of Langston’s shirt, deserves its own poem. But the poignant details of his faces, which reveal character and emotion with delicacy and strength, deserve the most praise. The tension between restraint and freedom, joy and anguish, boldness and subtlety, is at work throughout this book. Whether you know the life and work of Langston Hughes well or are just being introduced, Love to Langston offers authentic riches.