A Poet's Playlist

A special playlist featuring poets and music. The show features poems and music by Jayne Cortez, Arto Vaun, Alan Semerdjian, Joshua Young, Thibault Raoult, and more!

About the Poets:

Amiri Baraka: The dramatist, novelist and poet, Amiri Baraka is one of the most respected and widely published African-American writers. With the beginning of Black Civil Rights Movements during the sixties, Baraka explored the anger of African-Americans and used his writings as a weapon against racism. Also, he advocated scientific socialism with his revolutionary inclined poems and aimed at creating aesthetic through them. Amiri Baraka’s writing career spans over nearly fifty years and has mostly focused on the subjects of Black Liberation and White Racism. Today, a number of well known poems, short stories, plays and commentaries on society, music and literature are associated with his name. A few of the famous ones include, ‘The Music: Reflection on Jazz and Blues’, ‘The Book of Monk’ and ‘New Music, New Poetry’ among others.

Jayne Cortez was an African-American poet, activist, small press publisher and spoken-word performance artist[2] whose voice is celebrated for its political, surrealistic and dynamic innovations in lyricism and visceral sound. Her writing is part of the canon of the Black Arts Movement. She was married to jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman (1954–64), and their son is jazz drummer Denardo Coleman. In 1975 Cortez married painter, sculptor, and printmaker Melvin Edwards, and they lived in Dakar, Senegal, and New York City.

Thibault Raoult is author of three books: Person Hour (BlazeVOX, 2011), Disposable Epics (Caketrain, 2014), and «Pro(m)bois(e)» (Opo, 2016). His poems and short fiction have appeared in Boston Review, BOMB, Denver Quarterly, New American Writing, Gulf Coast, 6x6, Oversound, Conjunctions, and elsewhere. Since 2014 he has been on editorial staff at The Georgia Review. In Fall 2017 he will begin teaching at University of Maryland. He performs with the experimental pop ensemble Historic Sunsets. For more information about the Historic Sunsets, visit https://historicsunsets.bandcamp.com/album/girl-with-lute-1927

Gil Scott-Heron was an American soul and jazz poet, musician, and author, known primarily for his work as a spoken-word performer in the 1970s and 1980s. His collaborative efforts with musician Brian Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues, and soul, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron. His own term for himself was "bluesologist",[4] which he defined as "a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues".[note 1][6] His music, most notably on Pieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and helped engender later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul. In fact, Scott-Heron himself is considered by many to be the first rapper/MC ever, a recognition also shared by fellow American MC Coke La Rock.

Alan Semerdjian is an Armenian-American poet, songwriter, and educator. His most recent collection of poems is In the Architecture of Bone (GenPop Books, 2009), and his most recent catalogue of recorded music is Quiet Songs for Loud Times (Newsong Recordings, 2013). He lives in NYC with his partner and their son and teaches at Herricks High School in New Hyde Park, NY.

Arto Vaun is a poet & musician originally from Boston. His first book, Capillarity, was published by Carcanet in 2009. His poems & essays have appeared in various anthologies & magazines, & he's been interviewed twice on the BBC about his work. As a musician, Vaun has shared bills with artists like Rufus Wainwright, Daniel Johnston, Ben Kweller, Kimya Dawson, Mark Eitzel, & the War on Drugs. Currently, he lives in Yerevan, Armenia, where he is the founder/director of the Center for Creative Writing at the American University of Armenia. He is also the founding editor of Locomotive. In 2014, Vaun was awarded the Tololyan Prize in Literature.

Joshua Young is the author of six collections, most recently, Psalms for the Wreckage (Plays Inverse) and w/ Alexis Pope, I Am Heavy w/ Feeling (Fog Machine). He works at the University of Chicago and lives in Albany Park with two humans.

Jamila Woods was raised in Chicago, IL and graduated from Brown University, where she earned a BA in Africana Studies and Theatre & Performance Studies. Influenced by Lucille Clifton and Gwendolyn Brooks, much of her writing explores blackness, womanhood & the city of Chicago. Her first chapbook, The Truth About Dolls (2012), was inspired by a Toni Morisson quote & features a Pushcart-nominated poem about Frida Kahlo. Her poetry is included in the anthologies The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop(2015), Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls (2014), and The UnCommon Core: Contemporary Poems for Learning & Living (2013). For more information, visit http://www.jamila-woods.com

Thursday, June 22, 2017