Noted for verse preoccupied with biblical and mythological themes, as well as those of her garden and nature, Spencer shared intellectual respect and repartee with such notables as James Weldon Johnson, who first discovered her poetic talents in 1919, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, Countee Cullen, Sterling A. Brown, Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson, Thurgood Marshall, Zora Neal Hurston, Mary McLeod Bethune, Adam Clayton Powell, Claude McKay, George Washington Carver, H.L. Mencken, Amaza Lee Meredith, Gwendolyn Brooks, and the Rev. Martin Luther King.