Thursday, January 9, 2014

RIP Amiri Baraka

We have lost one of our literary giants. I suspect many of us will forever associate him with the Beat Era (when he was still known as Leroi Jones), and a few of us will remember his collaborative work with the occasional jazzer, such as Archie Shepp. His work was both confrontational and controversial in all the ways I would grow to admire.

His bio.

A passage of one of his more recent poems.

1 comment:

el mago said...

I met Amiri some 20 years ago when he appeared at Naropa's 20th anniversary. He sported a swollen black eye received at some family reunion softball game. I purchased him a six pack of cheap beer (Budweiser) and accompanied him to the Boulderado where we hooked up with Cecil Taylor and assorted Beat poets. We got wrecked, laughed and did a lot of other shit. When he reeled off a poetry reading and rant, at Boulder High School, I sat cross legged on the stage and collected money in a box while dispensing his tracts and tapes. The party continued through the night at JoAnne Kyger's temporary designated digs, and she later dissed on me about following Cecil and Amiri around with a champagne bottle, filling their glasses and lighting cigs. Amiri, whose mother said, what kind of name is that? Leroi is a king, Amiri, fuck that. And I respect him for many things, especially in his role of Noble Laurete of New Jersey dissing on the 9/11 bullshit and his denunciation of the whole shit show. Go Amiri, go King Leroi into that great beyond and return with greater force than ever.

Post a Comment