For the late poet Amiri Baraka, poetry was about the sound of the words — that the poems should come alive when they were read aloud. “I’m trying to make the poems as musical as I can — from the inception,” he said in 1980. “So that whether they’re read on the page, or people read them aloud, or I read them aloud, the musicality will be kind of a given.”

Baraka, who died in 2014, was one of the most important and controversial figures in African-American literature. On Tuesday, to mark Black History Month, Grove Press is publishing a career-spanning anthology of Baraka’s poetry called SOS: Poems 1961-2013.

In his poetry, Baraka incorporated the rhythms and melodies of jazz. (He wrote music criticism and his seminal book Blues People — written under his given name, LeRoi Jones — is still in print.) Baraka said he looked at the texts of his poems like scores for pieces of music.

Click here for more information.



NPR | Amiri Baraka


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s