Herbert Woodward Martin

1933 - Present

Inducted 2011

Herbert Woodward Martin recognized as Professor Emeritus and Poet-in-Residence Herbert Martin, at the University of Dayton is nationally known as a Dunbar scholar for his readings of the poetry of Paul Lawrence Dunbar. His parents appreciated literature and music and saw to it that their young son was immersed in the arts. Author Ronald Primeau examines Martin’s place in American literature with particular emphasis on his multidisciplinary talents and his contributions to the arts through his highly regarded performances of poetry (especially that of Paul Laurence Dunbar) and his acting, playwriting, and composing. As stated in the book Herbert Woodward Martin and the African American Tradition In Poetry, “Quiet is a word repeated often in poems by Herbert Woodward Martin. A quiet lyrical love pervades the music of his poetry. In public performances, he projects a softness commanding attention. One of his collections is entitled: The Forms of Silence. Martin’s complex artistry is forceful. His first book rewrote conventional poetic forms and created the contrapuntal dialogue, an inventive wizardry with debts to the African American choir, the call-response pattern of slave songs, and the counterpoint music of Johann Sebastian Bach”.