A List Poem

May 16, 2007 at 4:17 pm 2 comments

“Somebody Blew Up America” made New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey itch. So he decided he’d make Amiri Baraka step down as Poet Laureate. Except, he couldn’t find a legal way to do it. And so he canceled the Poet Laureateship, thus making Baraka the last Poet Laureate of New Jersey.

I like this poem, despite finding the anti-semitic lines toward the end problematic and at best, a poor decision for inclusion in an otherwise fine poem.

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Entry filed under: Amiri Baraka, Poet Laureate, poetry, regionalism.

Bedtime with Bukowski one more parade

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cerebraljetsam  |  May 17, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    Yes, good reading, that Baraka, despite obvious problems in his work. Taught some of his stuff in my 60s and 70s class a few semesters ago and my students loved it. Were you one of the lucky people that made it up to Northwestern to hear him read last year?

  • 2. skunkcabbage  |  May 17, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    That’s fun. I first got excited about Baraka during an undergrad class on modern poetry. The professor was especially interested in Jazz poetry, and Baraka has some poems in that vein. I’m really sorry I missed him at Northwestern. I bet he was fantastic.


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