Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Writer for the Rest of Us.
Although I like his writing, I also appreciate Ishmael Reed as an editor and publisher.
The poetry anthology From Totems to Hip-Hop: a Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas, 1900-2002 is welcome relief from the usual anthologies and concept texts for teaching poetry. Much of the content, especially the mainfestos, captured the attention of a first-year poetry class expecting the usual.
The anthology includes work from generally marginalized writers from many races and cultures, and in doing so presents not only diverse views but diverse forms.
I loved teaching with Reed's book and will continue to use it.
Ishmael Reed's Konch Magazine is another welcome relief from much of the usual mainstream news, views, writing. In Reed's own words about the publication:
"While the American media, progressive, mainstream, corporate and alternative literary magazines, book reviews, etc. continue to publish writers and poets from the same background and values Konch will continue publishing writers from the world over who address the important issues of our time. We will continue to publish poets who have something to say.
Konch is a publication for the rest of us."
The "rest of us" are grateful for the poetry anthology and the magazine.
I would like to invite Ishmael Reed to my soiree.