A special poetry shout-out to Jim Brock and his students at Florida Gulf Coast University. They are reading Underlife and visiting the blog this week. Feel free to ask questions and I’ll be happy to answer them on the blog. Very cool!
Last night I watched the third installment of HBO’s The Black List. This documentary series features some of the most prominent African Americans of this generation; from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to Slash to Vernon Jordan to Toni Morrison to Whoopi Goldberg (she was featured in last night’s segment). I encourage you to seek out the whole series, which is now showing "On Demand" if you're an HBO subscriber on Comcast.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to these diverse voices talk about their perceptions of what it means to be black in America. And much like the people profiled in the documentary, there is a range of voices among black poets. From Phyllis Wheatley to Countee Cullen to Langston Hughes to Audre Lorde to Lucille Clifton to every member of Cave Canem and beyond—we hail from a long, multifaceted tradition of struggle and hope. It is a tradition of call-and-response. It is spirituals and gospel. It is storytelling. It is jazz. It is spoken word. It is all that and more, and it is astounding.
This morning, I woke up early to read student contest entries for a friend and fellow poet. I enjoy seeing what subjects are important to college students. I see a lot of influences from pop culture—trying to give new life to old forms. I say, go for it. We need those voices in the mix.
Weather permitting, hope you can make it to the Poets for Haiti benefit reading for Partners In Health. It is set for tomorrow, February 10, 7:30 p.m. at Longfellow Hall, Harvard University, 13 Appian Way, Cambridge.
I received my pre-order for Sade’s new album, Soldier of Love, on iTunes. Listening to it now and it is FABULOUS! Wonder why she waited 10 years to put out this album, but I'm glad it’s here. The woman looks and sounds amazing. AMAZING!
On the writing front, well ... it's time to write poems again. And there's that little matter of applying for the NEA grant. Also, I have a few articles to write before week's end.
Whew! Good thing I like being this busy.