Friday, October 25, Akron poet Walter Delbridge will join Theron Brown on stage for his album release show at EJ Thomas Hall, reading his poetry with Brown’s trio backing him. Delbridge made his debut at Jazz Fest in 2017 and earlier this year appeared at Greystone Hall, as the featured guest for Community Support Services 2019 Art of Recovery.
Valedictorian and President of Garfield High’s class of 65, Delbridge (then Dancy), went on to study at Harvard, Yale and Morehouse College. He had just earned one of the first scholarships for African Americans to study at the esteemed Sorbonne in France when he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Instead of going to Paris, he was sent back to Akron to be institutionalized at Fallsview Psychiatric. While institutionalized, Delbridge’s poetry was published in anthologies alongside Langston Hughes, Leadbelly and Audre Lorde. He would not see these books until 2019, and he will be reading the newly recovered work at EJ Thomas.