This project, presented here in this interactive website, is what I have been doing for the past six months and what I expect to continue to do for the next little while. The performance of these poems and the music composed by Kevin Simmonds, will be on tour in the fall. The crew for this piece is the same that had such success with Wisteria. A long essay with stunning photographs appears in this month’s issue of The Virginia Quarterly Review and two short documentaries are appearing around the country on the program Foreign Exchange. I trust that you will be moved by this work.
Props to Kwame, Kevin, and all involved for going to Jamaica and documenting this history with their own art.
The multimedia site is spectacular. Everything moves effortlessly allowing the poem text, poet’s voice, music and images to come together in the finest tradition of orature. Equally impressive is the site’s ability to let the user personalize which combination of elements will allow them to best experience the narrative.
Your friends, and your associates, and the people around you, and the environment that you live in, and the speakers around you – the speakers around you – and the communicators around you, are the poetry makers. If your mother tells you stories, she is a poetry maker. If your father says stories, he is a poetry maker. If your grandma tells you stories, she is a poetry maker. And that’s who forms our poetics.
-Juan Felipe Herrera
My fascination with live poetry events continues as I search YouTube for some poetic gems and here I find this great one hour talk from Juan Felipe. The video speaks for itself but some great moments his impersonation of various Chicano Literary figures, his repeated citing of the chapbook (en español: pancarta) as an important literary document, how some figures don’t get translated into English, his personal process journal, and the life and struggle of Itzolin García.
Most of all I want to highlight this for folks who can’t make it out to readings all the time, can’t get to those good university talks on process and craft, can’t see the writer in person, and present some alternatives. Yes, there are plenty of ways to get the knowledge. That is, if you really want that knowledge.