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Archive for December, 2013


Tuesday, December 31st, 2013


Click on me

Al Young Redrawn  Theresa D’Onofrio
sparkling-champagne-popping-cork ©



Jana Cole Auld Lang Syne
38px-Speaker_Icon.svgClickable images
al-at-piano-19561-213x300  The Dan I. Slobin Archives


Posting worldwide since 2007



Come new to this day.
Remove the rigid overcoat of experience,
the notion of knowing,
the beliefs that cloud your vision.
Leave behind the stories of your life.
Spit out the sour taste of unmet expectation.
Let the old, almost forgotten
scent of what-if
drift back
into the swamp

of your useless fears.
Arrive curious,
without the armor of certainty,
without the planned results for the life
you’ve imagined.
Live the life that chooses you,
New with every breath,
New with every blink of
your astonished eyes.

Rebecca del Rio

© Rebecca del Rio



Detroit Is Giving Writers Free Houses in an Effort to Rebuild

Thursday, December 26th, 2013


Rod Bastanmehr
Alternet News
December 26, 20013

Good news for struggling writers: the key to sustaining your lifestyle is to go to a city that’s struggling more.

downtown detroit shutterstock_136478498 File photo

A new nonprofit organization called Write-A-House, located in Detroit, Michigan (which, earlier this year, became the largest city in the United States to file for and enter bankruptcy) has found something creative to do with the city’s seemingly endless blocks of vacant homes—gut them from the inside-out, fix them up, and give them to writers.

Sarah Cox, one of the founders of Write-A-House, and an editorial director for the real estate site Curbed, moved to Detroit from New York in 2010 in order to start the site’s Detroit blog. There, she witnessed the city’s desire to rebuild and rebrand, and found what was missing in order to make the dream into a reality.

“In the past three years, I’ve seen incredible progress, but there is still so much room for more in the literary arts,” she said in a press release formally announcing the city-wide project. “This is a city with unique, historic and fascinating stuff happening. We think there are writers who will want to come and be a part of it. … >>>

Go to the Alternet original to read
Rod Bastanmehr’s complete account

© 2013 Alternate News & Politics


open quotes blueWriters can begin to apply for the houses in the spring, and the project aims to draw local and international writers. Barlow said already they have received hundreds of e-mails ‘from writers locally, all the way into the Netherlands’


hamtramck house freep © Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press

Write-A-House aims to renovate Detroit houses for poets and novelists  |  Detroit Free Press


tirestack shutterstock


Detroit Skyline Site Banner

 City of Detroit Official Website



YUSEF LATEEF (October 9, 1920 – December 23, 2013)

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013


McNair Yusuf 38px-Speaker_Icon.svgListen

Joseph McNair: “for Yusuf Lateef (1920) Ibà á se Baba”

38px-Speaker_Icon.svg Listen

open quotes blueBut the heart of Mr. Lateef’s musicianship was a profound understanding of the blues, best expressed through the wailing, cavernous tone he produced on the tenor sax. It was a sound braised by soulful bent pitches and to-the-point phrasing that grabbed you by the collar and refused to let go

— from the Mark Stryker obituary
(Detroit Free Press, December 24, 2013)
YusefLateef DetFreePressfile

Read Mark Stryker’s review of a September 2007 Lateef concert


open quotes blueYusef Lateef, a jazz saxophonist and flutist who spent his career crossing musical boundaries, died on Monday at his home in Shutesbury, Mass., near Amherst. He was 93.

His death was announced on his website.

Mr. Lateef started out as a tenor saxophonist with a big tone and a bluesy style, not significantly more or less talented than numerous other saxophonists in the crowded jazz scene of the 1940s. He served a conventional jazz apprenticeship, working in the bands of Lucky Millinder, Dizzy Gillespie and others. But by the time he made his first records as a leader, in 1957, he had begun establishing a reputation as a decidedly unconventional musician

— from the Peter Keepnews obituary
(New York Times, February 24, 2013

Click on image

Yusef Lateef, Grammy-winning musician, composer, dies at 93

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dr. Yusef Abdul Lateef, 93, of Shutesbury (Massachusetts), passed away Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, in the late morning. He passed peacefully at home with loved ones.

Dr. Lateef was a Five College Professor of Music and Music Education from 1987 to 2002 and was well known for his support and mentorship of up and coming artists. Dr. Lateef was a 2010 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Award. This Grammy Aaward-winning composer and musician’s career began in the 1940’s and has continued with touring and performing worldwide until the summer of 2013.

His biography, The Gentle Giant, by Herb Boyd, aptly describes his patient, soft-spoken demeanor and compassionate heart. Dr. Yusef Lateef was a devout member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community since 1948 and had performed the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) on two occasions.

He was predeceased by his wife, Tahira Lateef, a daughter and a son. He is survived by his second son, Yusef Lateef, current wife Ayesha Lateef, granddaughter Iqbal, as well a host of great-grandchildren.

Calling hours will be held Thursday, Dec. 26, from 3 to 5:15 p.m. with Janaza prayers at 5:15 p.m. at the Douglass Funeral Home, 87 N. Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA.

Obituary and memorial register at

News Coverage
New York Times L.A. Times
Entertainment Weekly Chicago Tribune
Detroit Free Press



lateef_pic  Clickable

Al Young on Yusef Lateef

open quotesYusef Lateef’s influence on my early development remains inestimable. I used to catch his Monday night performances at Detroit’s World Stage (just across the line in Highland Park. For the rest of the week this venue was a theater-in-the-round. Because no alcohol wasn’t permitted, kids were allowed. As features editor of the Central High Student, I could get backstage, where some musicians harbored their own private stashes of liquor and other libations. I watched as the bottle or smoke circulated. “Hey, Yusef,” someone might ask. “You want some of this?” Yusef would courteously decline and wave it on. But when he hit the stand with his horn, mostly tenor saxophone in the mid-1950s, Yusef would blow everybody away. He was so eloquent and strong. I played in the school band and orchestra. Once a month we players got discount 50-cent tickets to attend the Thursday night Detroit Symphony concerts. Yusef, who was studying for his Masters in Composition at Wayne University at the time, was always in the audience, and always all dressed up and jotting notes into a staff-lined music notebook. I and my tiny circle of jazz crazies loved the man. That he was Muslim intrigued us. Eventually, to understand a little about where Yusef was coming from, I read British Muslim Marmaduke Pickthall’s translation of the Qur’an: The Glorious Koran. And I was moved. The world has lost a master musician and colossal spirit.
— Al Young


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Saturday, December 21st, 2013



jesus was a radical 
© John Fugelsang


CANARY: A Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis | Winter Solstice Issue Number 23, Winter 2013-14

Saturday, December 21st, 2013


Canary slice
Carol White

A Literary Journal of the Environmental Crisis

Canary is a literary journal that explores one’s engagement with the natural world. It is based on the premise that the literary arts can provide an understanding that humans are part of an integrated system. Our theme is the environmental crisis and the losses of species and habitat as a result of this ongoing disaster. Our mission is to deepen awareness of the environment and enrich the well-being of the individual and in turn society as a whole.

 Gail Entrekin
Editor Gail Entrekin

Published by Hip Pocket Press
Managing Editor, Charles Entrekin
All work reprinted by permission of authors

“Our Society is like an heir to a fortune who is also an alcoholic. He drinks his way through each day, but he can’t go on forever. There are only three possible outcomes: he’ll drink himself to death, he’ll run out of money, or he’ll sober up.”
John Elder (from The Sun, June 2013)

Issue Number 23, Winter 2013-14

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© 2013 Hip Pocket Press