Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Wealth of African American Poetry

 National Poetry Month is a good time to look at African American Poetry

There's less than a week left of National Poetry Month and I haven't touched a fraction of the material that I could have. Of course I'm not really the person to be doing a piece on poetry since I know so little about it. These posts for me, are just an effort to learn a little more myself while sharing what I discover with anyone else who might happen to be curious about African American Poetry. I found a spread at Poets.org that goes into some Black History as far as American Poetry is concerned with the headings - Featured Poems, Featured Poets, Schools and Movements, Great Books, Featured Audio, Featured Essays and For the Classroom.
You just have to (click here for the link) bookmark the page and you'll be in for a real treat. If you're a teacher or home-schooling , I have a feeling that your students will get a wealth of information from this spot although like anything else on the web you should screen it before turning young students loose on it.

An interview with Gwendolyn Brooks

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Amiri Baraka - Poet Laureate of New Jersey

Amiri Baraka



" Amiri Baraka (born Everett LeRoi Jones; October 7, 1934 – January 9, 2014), formerly known as LeRoi Jones and Imamu Amear Baraka.
He was an African-American writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays, music criticism  and an activist. He was the author of numerous books of poetry and taught at a number of universities, including the State University of New York at Buffalo and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He received the PEN Open Book Award, formerly known as the Beyond Margins Award, in 2008 for Tales of the Out and the Gone. Some compare him to James Baldwin and call Baraka one of the most respected and most widely published Black writers of his generation. Others have said his work is an expression of violence, misogyny, homophobia and racism.
 Baraka's brief official tenure as Poet Laureate of New Jersey (2002–03), involved controversy over a public reading of his poem "Somebody Blew Up America?" and accusations of anti-semitism, and some negative attention from critics, and politicians." - Wikipedia

Wise I - by Amiri Baraka


     WHYS (Nobody Knows
     The Trouble I Seen)
     Traditional

If you ever find
yourself, some where
lost and surrounded
by enemies
who won't let you
speak in your own language
who destroy your statues
& instruments, who ban
your omm bomm ba boom
then you are in trouble
deep trouble
they ban your
own boom ba boom
you in deep deep
trouble


humph!


probably take you several hundred years
to get
out!