¬†Marvin X is calling for all West Coast poets to contribute poems to an anthology dedicated to the memory of Amiri Baraka, published by Black Bird Press, Berkeley, late 2014. Send poems, bio and pic to firstname.lastname@example.org. If possible, please include a $100.00 donation toward publication costs. Send checks to Black Bird Press, 1222 Dwight Way, Berkeley CA 94702. Call 510-200-4164 for more information.The Black Arts Movement Conference at University of California, Merced, Feb 28 thru March 2, 2014, will be a tribute to Amiri Baraka, Ras Baraka will participate.Bay Area folks are planning a tribute to Amiri Baraka at Eastside Arts Center ASAP. It will also be a fundraiser for his son, Ras Baraka, who is running for Mayor of Newark, New Jersey.
Hear Amiri Baraka funeral highlights (including Danny Glover, Sonia S√°nchez, Michael Eric Dyson, Cornell West, Raz Baraka) | with special thanks to Davey D’s “Morning Mix” at KPFA, Pacifica Radio
¬© Nicole Benvigeno/New York Times
Pallbearers carry Amiri Baraka’s casket from Newark Symphony Hall¬† | January 18. 2014
“Remembering Amiri Baraka with politics and poetry” | Annie Correal | NYTimes.com | January 18, 2014
“You got to be a spirit.
You can’t be no ghost.”
— Amiri Baraka in Bulworth, Warren Beatty’s 1998 comedy-drama
(Baraka’s literal walk-on cameo filmed just outside the Newark, NJ Mount Sinai Medical Center. In December 2013 the prolific writer and activist was hospitalized at Beth Israel Hospital, where he died January 9, 2014)
Amiri Baraka ‚Äď A Literary Hero
Amiri Baraka will never be silenced. I suspect that he is still in the vanguard bombarding all souls within reach with poetic flash bombs in the afterlife where revolutionaries continue to insist on justice. In my pursuit of wielding culture and knowledge as an alternatively blunt and subtle implement for social change I find his voice ever present.
Baraka first erupted into my consciousness as Leroi Jones in the anthology 3000 Years of Black Poetry, a book I stole as a junior high school student in San Francisco. His presence in those pages, alongside Gwendolyn Brooks, Mari Evans, Nikki Giovanni, Ted Joans, Bob Kaufman, Victor Hern√°ndez Cruz, and other poets, pulled me into an inescapable creative orbit. I had the privilege of moving within Baraka‚Äôs gravitational pull on a few occasions after stealing that book.
Nathalie Handal’s “Preface to Life,” an elegy to Amiri Baraka and Juan Gelman @ Words Without Borders (January 14, 2014)
Once called the world‚Äôs finest living poet by Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, shown last year, received similar plaudits from Norman Mailer and other writers. In 1964, his one-act drama ‚ÄúDutchman‚ÄĚ won an Obie Award as the season‚Äôs best off-Broadway American play.
(Mick Gold / Redferns / Getty Images)
The Power of Words (University of Minnesota, 2008)
Above: Baraka with daughter Kellie as a newborn in 1959 | Photo: Burt Glinn/Magnum) | Cover of the 1990 memoir, How I Became Hettie Jones
“In the weeks since Amiri Baraka passed away, there has been a flood of tributes and commentary on his work, his controversial career, and his immense legacy and importance. Many of them have discussed his ‚ÄúBeat‚ÄĚ phase and touched on aspects of his early connections to the avant-garde. ¬†But as is often the case, not much has been said about Baraka‚Äôs close alliance with Frank O‚ÄôHara and the New York School of poetry … ”
— Andrew Epstein
The CUNY Poetics Document Initiativeedited by Ammiel Alcalay
Courtesy of femficatio.com
Our world is full of sound
Our world is more lovely than anyone‚Äôs
tho we suffer, and kill each other
and sometimes fail to walk the air
— Amiri Baraka
“R.I.P. Amiri Baraka, an influence of my youth, a Giant of a writer, a Voice of the people! So glad to have been up close & personal.”
2014-01-10 10:40 UTC | SamuelLJackson.com
Amina Baraka and Amiri Baraka | 2012
And now each night, I count the stars.
And each night I get the same number.
And when the stars won’t come to be counted,
I count the holes they leave.
— Amiri Baraka
(Click the link above to visit the late author’s website)
Amiri Baraka, influential African American writer and firebrand, dies at 79
¬© The Washington Post
Thursday, January¬†9, 4:53pm
Amiri Baraka, one of the most influential African American writers of his generation, who courted controversy as a poet, playwright and provocateur and who was a primary intellectual architect of the Black Arts movement of the 1960s, died Jan. 9 at a hospital in Newark. He was 79.
Newark Mayor Luis Quintana and other public officials confirmed the death. The cause was not reported, but Mr. Baraka had been hospitalized in intensive care since December …
Amiri Baraka, Polarizing Poet and Playwright, Dies at 79 | Margalit Fox, The New York Times, January 9, 2013
Entire hour devoted to the life and legacy of Amiri Baraka
(Special guests include Felipe Luciano, Sonia Sanchez, Komozi Woodard & Larry Hamm) | January 10, 2014
a poem of tribute in motion
Another sun gone into night.
As Dutchman embarks over the coal-black sea.
Leaving such brightness and light in his wake.
On the barque that crosses the underground stream.
A great wind has left us.
I can hear the wind howling in my ears.
His footprints carved into books!
Such a strong presence; hard to imagine him being gone.
all my doors are open
A prophet‚Äôs voice falls silent and flowers in eternity.
His passage is the illumining of a great black light‚ÄĒfrom Amiri learn courage.
What‚Äôs that sound? : nothing but percussion in heaven and anti-heaven now.
Yet the light still there through the trees.
To wave back at what particle, what light, what Dante‚Äôs Hell?AuthorsJack FoleyChristopher BernardKim McMillonIvan Arg√ľellesWill AlexanderA.D. WinansHarold AdlerPaul Lobo Portug√©sAdam David MillerAdelle FoleyChris ManselJake BerryMichael McClureMary-Marcia CasolyMaw Shein WinAl Young
“Thanks to Al Young for his formatting suggestion.”
— Jack Foley
Photo: Denardo Coleman