Cart 0

Randall Horton


Randall Horton past honors include the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award, a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature, and most recently GLCA New Writers Award for Creative Nonfiction for Hook: A Memoir, published by Augury Books/ Brooklyn Art Press. His previous work include poetry collections: The Definition of Place, The Lingua France of Ninth Street, both with Main Street Rag and Pitch Dark Anarchy (Triquarterly/Northwestern University Press). His latest collection of poetry will be published by the University of Kentucky Press in 2020. Horton is an Associate Professor of English at the University of New Haven. He is a Cave Canem Fellow and a member of The Affrilachian Poets. He is also a member of the experimental performance group Heroes Are Gang Leaders which recently received the 2018 American Book Award in Oral Literature. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, he now resides in New Jersey.


Hook: A Memoir (Recipient of the GLCA Award for Creative Nonfiction)




The 2017 Great Lakes College Association winner for Creative non-fiction is Randall Horton, Hook, published by Augury Books.

The GLCA Judges Note:

Randall Horton's memoir, Hook, is an intriguing modern take on a classic American tale of self-reinvention, as in Horatio Alger's nineteenth-century rags-to-riches stories. Horatio Alger's heroes never become international drug lords and cocaine smugglers, though. Also they never go to jail, exploit prostitutes, or critique paradigms of race and governance in their journal. But, like Horton, they do end up thriving in the very structures that once made them feel marginalized. Randall Horton delivers careful, roughhewn, poetically-charged language at the service of a memoir that runs against the grain of a typical "recovery" narrative. What results is searing commentary, social critique under the guise of a memoir within a memoir. Because his life has been truly intersectional: from college student to homeless drug addict to international cocaine smuggler to inmate and finally college professor, this text has the potential to speak to people for generations. Through a bravado performance of structure and sentence, Horton gives his readers an unsentimental and important view into how a person works to rebuild after a downward spiral, showcasing how literature can be part of that recovery



Book Titles




University of Kentucky (Fall 2020)



Pitch Dark Anarchy

TriQuarterly/Northwestern Press (2013)



The Lingua Franca of Ninth Street

Main Street Rag (2009)



The Definition of Place

Main Street Rag (2006)



73539676_1188607517976158_912085104724017152_o (1).jpg




The fertile, imaginative, sensuous unity of poetry and music embodied by Heroes Are Gang Leaders harvest’s the great traditions of Afro-American culture. From the bountiful gardens of past masters to the most innovative and exciting contemporary writers,HAGL has opened new horizons for audiences internationally,gathering the forces of rhythm and sound. Drawing from the resources of often hidden and suppressed histories, HAGL resuscitates and revives images of our world that are colorful, vibrant,and spiritual. Fearless, adventurous, and without compromise,HAGL has evolved new trajectories for artists of the future to explore. If as James Blood Ulmer has said, “Jazz is the teacher, and funk is the preacher,” then HAGL is the divinity school offering a new theology of spirit into matter. The cross-pollination of poetry and music find their magical, ritual significance in the art of HAGL, a boundless, joyful rediscovery of our souls. Weaving a vision at once unique and uncannily familiar, HAGL has found purpose inanimating both the shadows and the light of our 21st century.Collected on the albums The Avant-Age Garde I AMs of the Gal Luxury, Highest Engines Near/Near Higher Engineers, and most recently Flukum, the recordings of HAGL betray a profoundly propulsive, forward-leaning momentum. Shattering expectations and succeeding to the wildest dreams, HAGL has perfected the mysterious genre of Jazz Poetry with love, care, gentleness, and strength.

Before Columbus Foundation is proud to honor Heroes Are Gang Leaders with our first ever American Book Award for Oral Literature.

The recipients are Thomas Sayers Ellis / bandleader, poet, small percussions, co-founder, James Brandon Lewis / tenor saxophone, co-founder, Margaret Morris / voice, vocals, Luke Stewart / bass,Randall Horton / poet, Heru Shabaka-ra / trumpet, Janice Lowe /keyboards, vocals, Devin Brahja Waldman / synthesizer, altosaxophone, Crystal Good / poet, No Land / vocals, Brandon Moses/ guitar, Warren “Trae” Crudup / drums, Ambrose Bye / Engineer