Sunday, April 30, 2006

Ichiro had 2 hits today. His average is .287.

Kobe. Kobe. Kobe.
I saw the Laker OT win over the Suns. The Lakers look very good now...real hugging and support going around. Really good ball movement too. How far can this team go in the playoffs?
Lakers/Pistons? Hmmm.

Today I completed the reading of 3 Poet Lore packets. The new issue just came out and yes - that's Ty Cobb and Shoeless Joe Jackson on the cover. Wait until you see the next cover in the fall.
Inside Vol. 101, Number 1/2 we have some writers to watch: Doug Korb, Sandra Beasley and Debra Wierenga. Checkout the essay by Merrill Leffler - "Poetry: What I Want of It."
For more information about Poet Lore go to the site:

While at The Writer's Center I purchased 3 books for the upcoming (June) memoir course I will be teaching in upstate New York:

LIVING TO TELL THE TALE by Jane Taylor McDonnell
INVENTING THE TRUTH edited by William Zinsser
WRITING THE MEMOIR by Judith Barrington

Many of the ideas in these books I've used already in my memoir workshops. Of course folks tend to listen to you better if you back your stuff up with references.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Ichiro had 2 hits today. He is hitting .282
2 hits in one inning plus a stolen base against Baltimore. He should be hitting well over .300 by the end of May.
Meet me in New Orleans before New York:

New Orleans, LA (Jefferson Parish Public Library) May 11 — E. Ethelbert Miller on Langston Hughes.
Meet me in New York this June:

Wednesday, June 21, 6pm Poetic City: A Reading to Celebrate the Twentieth Anniversary of Poets HouseWith Regie Cabico, Martín Espada, Marie Howe, E. Ethelbert Miller, Willie Perdomo, Tracy K. Smith, Gerald Stern & Others@ Nelson Rockefeller Park, Battery Park CityAdmission Free

Five people and you're a thumb.
You stick out. A party of four?
In the restaurant the waiter borrows
a chair from another table. You share
a menu because everyone has one
except you. Twenty minutes into the meal
and you're staring at the ice in your water.
What else is melting? You become the third
ear in the middle of two conversations.
When everyone looks your way you pull
a joke from your sleeve like a napkin that
was on the floor. You have that silly grin
on your face that says, "I'm a minstrel,
pass the bread." Suddenly you have no
appetite but you chew because your teeth
are sharp.

- E. Ethelbert Miller
Nice to see theParliament meeting in Nepal.
Sad to see James Wolfensohn deciding to leave the job of helping economic development in the Gaza.
Why a war of words between Hugo Chavez and Alan Garcia? Unnecessary rhetoric.

Well since we only have politicians and no superheroes, thank God for more Marvel films coming to the movie screen:
Ironman, Captain America, and Thor. Wouldn't you like to see Thor battle John Henry? Throw that hammer down boys.
New biography of Clement Greenberg:
ART CZAR by Alice Goldfarb Marquis, MFA Publications. $35.
Friday was a busy day. 2 IPS meetings ( In the evening I went down to the Folger Shakespeare Library and listened to Melissa Bank and Terry McMillan read their fiction.
It was a PEN/Faulkner event. I hadn't been to one since I resigned from the board. Gosh what year was that??? I sat near those board reserved seats and greeted the old gang: Alan Cheuse, Susan Shreve, Pat Griffith, Lisa Page, and Susan Stamberg. I noticed on the program that some folks have Directors Emeritus status. Hmmm. I guess the E is not for emeritus. Anyway, it was good to see Terry.
She didn't recognize me at first. I hadn't seen her in years. So I introduced myself again and boy did I get great hugs and kisses. Is it OK if I call Terry sweet? DidI get my groove back? During the reception I had a wonderful conversation with Marian Smith Holmes, associate editor of the Smithsonian Magazine.

When I arrived home I discovered some nice goodies in the mail from novelist Charles Johnson.
Folks at Marygrove College in Detroit invited him to speak on April 7th. Boy, did they do some slick PR. Great poster and cool Charles Johnson notepads. It might be a nice idea to develop a set of Literary Notepads featuring the faces of well known writers.

Kwame Alexander is having another Capital Bookfest: October 7th.
Try and support.

Callaloo is putting out a call for papers. A special issue to be guest edited by Kyle G. Dargan & Keith Leonard. They are calling the issue THE NEXT THIRTY YEARS OF CALLALOO.
Folks are talking about new directions and seeking fiction, poetry and short drama from writers under 45. They are looking for innovated stuff.
OK...if I'm around in 30, I'll be 85. I wonder if folks will remember me? I don't appear too often in the pages of Callaloo even though I'm listed as an advisory editor. But let me be advisory for a moment. Before Callaloo looks ahead, let's look at some of the writers they have overlooked and could do some "critical" essays on:
Ahmos Zu-Bolton (shocked to see no mention of his death in any issue so far)
A.B. Spellman
Dingane (Joe Goncalves)
Gaston Neal
Carolyn Rodgers
Ahmed Alhamisi
Yusef Rahman
Gylain Kain
Percy Johnston
Askia Muhammad Toure
David Llorens
Tom Dent
Primus St. John
Norman Pritchard

Should I continue and talk about Africa and the Carribbean? South America?

What about the future?
This special issue of Callaloo better come with a couple of CDs in order to capture this spoken word wave...

So who is going to be the Sun Ra of future African American literature? What new space will be the place? Look for the "new "work to come from Black people whose blood and roots link them to Korea, Japan and Vietnam. Like Master Fard, I predict the return of the Asiatic Black Man.
Are you ready? Will you hear them when they come? Maybe they are already here but writing on a different frequency? Maybe they speak for you. Look also for writers whose work will be heavily influenced by Buddhism and Islam.

Friday, April 28, 2006

New Poet. New Book.

Marcus Harris just published SONGS IN SEARCH OF A VOICE (Urban Echoes
Entertainment, L.L.C.).

He is living in Durham, North Carolina.


"They say that love makes time pass, and
time makes love pass;
I guess that would explain
your disappearing acts..."

When did you start sleeping upstairs? Alone.
Your body adjusting to a couch and not a lover.
You hold a pillow against your chest. Across
the room is your desk. You think about working
late into the night and writing down this feeling
which has no star.

- E. Ethelbert Miller
New women come and go. All go.
The pretty lover who announces
that she is temporary
is temporary.

- Donald Hall
To grow old is to lose everything.
- Donald Hall
I received a CD recording of a 1992 reading with Heather McHugh and Gerald Stern from the Acadmeny of American Poets. If you're a poet this is a good organization to support:
Tree Swenson is the Executive Director. Yesterday I also received my copy of AMERICAN POET. This is the journal published by the Academy.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Another site to look into:


(Chronicle, $24.95). Are you in this book?




of wisdom from Wole Soyinka can be found in Bob Thompson's article about him in the Washington Post today:

Authority is something given to you, he says - it's "conceded to people in specific situations." But power is something which you seize." Once you do, "you cannot retreat, because each step takes you farther away from the zone of legitimacy, and in order to survive, you must increase the stakes."

The worst thing about the thirst for power, Soyinka says, is that it seems tied to the need to dominate and humiliate. When he has exercised authority, he has tried to do it "without diminishing or reducing the other person in their self-estimation."


I'm working at developing the archives on my website. I just added
the following link to it:

E. Ethelbert Miller Collection at Emory & Henry College, Emory,

I plan to ship some additional boxes down to Emory later this year.


It was fun doing the Midnight hour on WHUR radio last night. Many thanks to Kim Washington who has been responsible for providing a larger audience for poets and spoken word artists. It would be nice for WHUT to also have a regular television show that promotes poetry. Maybe call it "Poetry from the HUT." Or something. :-)


There is so much Howard could be doing. Oh- what about a creative writing program?

I remember pushing that for a number of years. I tried it
straight with no chaser.

Since that time the world turns and we have good organizations
like Cave Canem and the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Be sure to
reach in your pocket and support these literary organizations.
The next time you decide to purchase a book, just put aside
maybe $25 or $50 and make a contribution to folks who are trying
to keep the tradition alive. A few dollars might help someone
obtain a fellowship to pursue their dreams of becoming a writer.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Oh don't tell me it's Nash? Now I'm really Nashed. Look for Kobe to show folks who the MVP is. Watch him lay 50 and burn the Sun. NBA people must also select Oscars too. It's hard out here for a Kobe.
The fun thing about living in a democracy is that artists can have fun with politics. The following is silly but it's funny. It's very creative:

I'M THE DECIDER (Koo-Koo-Ka-Choo)
Have you been listening to what's going on in the world?
More sad news...

Robert Sargent, prominent Washington poet and beloved friend to other poets, died in his Capital Hill home Tuesday morning, April 25. He would have been 94 years old in May, 2006. More Information will be made available about a gathering to honor his life and his work. He is survived by his wife Mary Jane Barnet, his 12 year old daughter, Lula, and grown children Bobby and Mary. He was the strongheart of the poetry community since 1970.Those of you who are regulars at the Word WorksJoaquin Miller Cabin Poetry Series will rememberhis annual reading of Miller’s poem Columbus and the line,“Oh Captain, what shall we do?Why, sail on , sail on”Our hearts break with loss nevertheless.

- Karren L. Alenier, President, The Word Works
New book out from poet Nathaniel Mackey:

New Directions

Mackey edits the literary journal HAMBONE.
He is on the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets and is Professor of Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Someone should do an article on Hambone magazine. I have back issues in my Center. Journals like Hambone and Nocturnes should be given as gift subscriptions to everyone participating in Cave Canem. It's another way of keeping the rich tradition of African American poetry alive. It also would provide income and support for these publications. Too often we just want Ebony and Jet; or is that now Callaloo and the African American Review? A diverse literature needs a diversity of journals. Don't you wish Baraka would publish another issue of Cricket?

Investments? Here are a few items that will begin to saturate our markets:
Brazil shirts and hats. This might take off in the African American community this year. Folks moving from wearing NBA stuff to Brazil World Cup items. Brazil is in. I like the colors.

Ghana is going to be a hot item too. With the 50th Anniversary of Independence next year...look for folks to move even beyond kente. Should we begin to invest in Kwame Nkrumah shirts, books, etc? Oh, and don't forget the 200 year ending of the Atlantic Trade Slave. Slavery will always be marketable. How ironic.

With Bonds in the news...look for Clemente to finally get his due. Baseball has to go positive and we're not talking steroids. CLEMENTE: THE PASSION AND GRACE OF BASEBALL'S LAST HERO by David Maraniss is in the stores. Clemente is being promoted as an athlete, legend and saint. Not bad.
Clemente items will start selling too. That might peak around the All-Star game. Are there plans to retire his number like Jackie Robinson?

Well, just some global tips for folks with the $$$$. The rest of us will be consumers for life. Why must this be? Should I be working for a large corporation instead of writing poems?
Ichiro had 2 more hits last night. Average is at .275.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

So where do the DC Mayoral Candidates stand on the arts? Do they go to exhibits and poetry readings. We know Fenty can often be seen at Busboys & Poets, but is he ever in the Langston Room reading a poem? I do remember Orange (a few years ago) attending the dedication of the plaque we placed in front of Sterling Brown's home. So that's something...
I've met Cropp maybe twice in life -once at a literacy program. I spoke with Johns a few months ago at NBC, and found her to be a woman with an aura. That will get her votes, but can she govern after daybreak? And does she paint or play the piano? Anyway, The Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington and DC Advocates for the Arts are hosting the Mayoral Candidates Forum on Monday, May 1, 2006 at the GALA, 6 - 8 PM, at Tivoli Square, 3333 14th Street, NW.
Since May 1st is Sterling Brown's birthday, someone should ask the candidates what "living" poets they are currently reading. Notice the catch...the word is living. This way folks can't hide behind Frost, Sandburg or Brown, the way they can hide behind a budget.
Tribute to Jacklyn Potter on Tuesday, June 20th, 7:30 PM at the Joaquin Miller Cabin.
Jacklyn directed the poetry series at the cabin from 1984 - 2005.

Good to see Mayor Williams backing off a plan to crackdown on double-parking around city churches. What would Jesus do?

James Ellis II has a new book out:
ON THE GRINDCUZIN: The School Daze of Being 'Incognegro' in 1619.
301 695-1707
Oh, NO! Check the front page of The New York Times today. Standing room only seats - for airplanes??? Can you imagine making a trip this way? Who ever came up with this idea was looking at pictures of the Middle Passage.
Back to Bonds. If Bonds breaks Ruth's record but not Aaron's it really won't matter to many baseball purists. Folks still talk about the home run king as if it's still Ruth. Poor Hank. It's the same way you hear folks talking about Maris and Mc of St.Lou and not Bonds in terms of holding the record for most homers in season. Go figure.
I'm going back to my prediction that Kobe gets 50 points in an upcoming game. I think game 1 silenced the dumb critics. The Lakers are not going to win unless Kobe puts up big numbers. This is not the Bulls. Kwame Brown is not Scottie P. So Kobe played the "silent" game, and he made his point. This is typical Kobe. Notice when you hear him talking about just following the game plan. Yeah right. Let's put that plan on the shelf.
Here is a good blogsite:

Clinton's White House Portrait
So they are going to hang those new paintings of Hillary and Bill Clinton in the National Portrait Gallery...

The Bill Clinton painting looks like a young Ted Koppel. Ted is that you?

Talking about images, the photographer Bill Gottlieb recently died. He is the person who took all those breathless pictures of jazz singers and jazz musicians. Parker, Lady Day, Diz and Sinatra will always be with us, in a certain kind of way, thanks to Bill.

The Washingtonian (May Issue) has a long article on the DC literary community. It's a guide for tourists. Good to see a picture of W. Ralph Eubanks, the author of EVER IS A LONG TIME: A JOURNEY INTO MISSISSIPPI'S DARK PAST. Eubanks is the director of publishing at the Library of Congress. The Washingtonian article has a State Department tone to it. The focus seems to be on those writers a government might have good relations with (or recognize). One is curious as to what the "natives"
are doing. Chapter's bookstore looks more like an Embassy now that I think about it. I guess someone has to protect the "tradition." Right?
Happy Birthday Wendy Rieger...thanks for all the inspiration. Wishing you the best. Looking forward to doing our program in Baltimore.

so many

- E. Ethelbert Miller
Ichiro had 2 more hits. Average at .261
Look for him to be close to .300 in about 2 weeks.

The 23rd Annual Larry Neal Writers' Awards Ceremony.
May 5, 2006
Folger Shakespeare Library
6- 8 PM
For more information call 202 724-5613 or go online to
This is always a wonderful gathering of DC writers.

Andrew Hughes and Amie Keddy are doing small press gems:
The most recent - 4 Poems by Joseph Massey:

Rain puddle's oil
streaks encircle
full moon in pieces.

The poems have a Zen spirit and guides the reader down the path of awareness. A moment
becomes a memory of discovery.

I'm still receiving emails from people who heard the Diane Rehm Show (NPR) last week. Yesterday a person wrote to request a copy of "Lullaby" by Reetika Vazirani. It's one of the poems Ed Hirsch read on the program. That poem can be found in Reetika's WORLD HOTEL which Copper Canyon published in 2002.

Monday, April 24, 2006

I had a nice conversation with Jessica Neely (Pen/Faulkner Foundation). Terry McMillan is reading at the Folger this Friday. I haven't seen Terry in years. The first time we met was at the Folger - that was before MAMA was published. I'm looking forward to seeing Lady T. Reading is at 8 PM.

Email note from Susan Larson, Book Editor at the Times-Picayune. I''ll do a phone interview about my upcoming trip to New Orleans.

Spoke with Ginger G...glad she's back in town.

Today I also sat down with my friend Mark to discuss better financial planning. Bert has to get his groove together. What would Terry do? It's so important for writers to take better care of money matters. I don't want to be old and searching to find a metaphor for poverty.
Jah Roots?
Here are organizations offering DNA testing:

Please let me know if we are related. I want to know where my poems come from. I want to know why you look like me.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Today I spent a day downtown at the National Gallery of Art looking at "Cezanne in Provence" and not Kobe on television. After so much rain it was good to see the sun again. I saw the exhibit with Margo, a friend I met last month. She gave me the idea for a new television program. More about that later...
Anyway, I also made it to the DADA exhibit. Going from Cezanne to Dada in one day will challenge you. One can see (and hear) the impact of war on the human imagination. The Cezanne exhibit will be on view until May 7th.

I moved a stack of records from the basement upstairs. Tonight I'm listening to Antonin Dvorak.
Akeelah and The Bee is a new movie with Fishburne and Bassett. Is this A. Van Jordan's last book of poems on the screen?
So Cleveland wins one game, but this is still Cleveland - right? I thought Daniels played a real good game. Where were the Big Three? Who told "Jamie" he could shoot 3 pointers?? This is a playoff game...go inside baby. You have to bang the body if you want a ring.
I'll be serving as a judge for the upcoming POETRY OUT LOUD, NATIONAL RECITATION CONTEST. National Finals. You might want to attend the program:
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Lincoln Theatre
1215 U Street, NW
202 682-5720
This event is sponsored by the National Endowment For The Arts and Poetry Foundation.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

More focus now (in the media) on fraud and corruption and the failure of reconstruction in Iraq. How many Americans soldiers could still be living if citizens of Iraq could see their nation rebuilding and mending? We need to start connecting these types of dots. Contractors are immune; if their firms are punished the fines go the US Treasury and not the Iraqi people.
Mary Anastasia O'Grady again. I can't believe she has a regular opinion space in the Wall Street Journal. Like other writers working for this paper, the tendency is to write about developing countries like they were children. O'Grady thinks Venezuela and Bolivia need a spanking. Evo is simply following Hugo and Hugo is following Fidel and Fidel is following ? What is the problem with left-handed children?
You know your neighborhood is changing when you read about some organization trying to erect a memorial for dogs that have died in wars. Help explain this to me...Bow How? See Metro section of today's Washington Post. Check the possible plans for the land where the McMillan Reservoir is located. I think the land should be simply a park, with fields to play baseball, basketball and soccer.
Maureen Dowd is soooooooo funny. She is worth every cent spent on a New York Times. Her "The Great Chinese Fake-Out" on the OP-ED (4/22/06) had me laughing nonstop.

Talking about the absence of humor -the Cory Thomas cartoon in the Washington Post is just too flat for me. It lacks soul. McGruder is gone for 6 months??? I do miss me some Boondocks. Thomas has me sitting at the dock of the bay by myself - not even a chuckle.
Go On Girl!
So I get this email from someone I don't know - you know someone who must be reading these E-Notes. It's one of those short statements where someone disagrees with how you see the world because you don't see the world like this someone. You know? It's about me being too ethnic or going to hell because that's where the dark people go, or maybe we are dark because we've been living in hell, and you know, the devil runs a hot house and some of us burn too much because, well you know, evil just makes you black. Right? Isn't that what the dictionary says?
Anyway, so I talk to myself this morning and I say - self - are you too black? I turn and talk to Ethelbert - looking for an answer. And I say -Ethelbert- what does the E stand for? He jokes and tells me Ethnic. that must be a good thing -right? Why would his mother name him Ethnic? Did she understand the blackness of her womb and the blackness of the world? Yes, I think she did. My momma didn't raise no fool. To sail around the world, you have to be able to look at the black sky and read the stars or understand that your blackness embraces the stars and you are a star. Yes, when folks talk about being universal they are actually fighting their tongues from saying black. I talk about blackness because I celebrate myself, I come out of the darkness because I am the dark. It is the darkness that is also the source of light. I struggle to understand how the world became white. This search for understanding is also rooted in love. I want to know who the other is. Who are these people who shaped my history after I was already here?
Who stole my ancestors and put so much of my world in a colored museum? I try to maintain my sense of humor, as I run this RACE. Oh, Lord - please don't let me run this RACE in vain.
I believe I'll run on now and see what the end is going to be - ah- to return to the blackness -to join that someone. Is it you?
I had a busy week...Whew.
Upcoming before April turns the corner:
April 25th: Talk on poetry at UDC. 4 PM.
April 26th: Midnight radio show on WHUR-FM
April 30th: Writer's Center Board Meeting.

In May, I'll be going down to New Orleans to give a talk on Langston Hughes.
On May 23rd I'll be introducing Billy Collins at the King Library.

Some Howard U good news...Smokey Robinson receiving honorary degree on May 13th.

I'm waiting for HU to honor the following people:
Hank Aaron
Rachel Robinson
Amiri Baraka
Tiger Woods
Derek Walcott
Wole Soyinka
Deborah Willis

Well, did Jesus walk on ice?
I ordered a pizza and watched the baseball game (Braves/Nationals) last night. John Patterson is one of the best pitchers in baseball right now. He reminds me of Palmer who once played for Baltimore. The guy knows how to pitch. Funny how these Nats are hitting so far this year. It looks like they can score 5 + runs every game. Now - let's hope the bullpen can be decent for a few months. I'm not a Soriano fan but the guy did hit some taters against Atlanta. But please don't try to steal third base in the late innings. No. No.

Ichiro watch: 2 more hits.
March for Peace, Justice and Democracy on April 29th in New York. Here is the information website:
It's always strange how I learn about a march. Suddenly I see a sign and the march is always a few days away. Because of the shortage of leaders there is a tendency to simply list organizational sponsorship. I'm always curious as to how many of the listed organizations are simply individuals or post office boxes in Brooklyn. The poster slogans are usually bland and indicates a shortage of poets within the organizational ranks. One always has to hope a anti-war march is peaceful. No blackshirts running around picking fights with police. I wish the news media would do a better job covering protests. I would like to see newspaper articles that profile the planners, examine the goals of the organizors, and bring more people into the dialogue around the war. We also need more members of Congress supporting some of these marches and encouraging dialogue within our government. When was the last time you heard a good speech by a member of Congress against the war? Along with bringing troops home, we need to discuss the plight of "broken" countries. How do we repair them? I'm thinking of countries like Somalia, Haiti andIraq...
And the list goes on...
How much money has been wasted or just stolen? Who is making the big profits? How many soldiers stare at their "broken" bodies and shake their heads?

Friday, April 21, 2006

I've received quite a number of requests from people around the country wanting a copy of the poem I read on the Diane Rehm Show (NPR) this week. Here is a link to "Divine Love" on my website:

Note: this is a direct link to Divine Love:

I was just reading this homeowner's exercise and how to respond during a disaster.
Here are the questions to think about:
1. You are given a full eight hours and can pack a car load of items. What do you take?
2. You have just two hours to pack?
3. You have 15 minutes and everything has to fit into a backpack.

Other tips:
- Make a record of your possessions; keep vital records and documents in a safe deposit box or other safe location.
- Photograph or video the interior and exterior of your home.

Look for Kobe to hit 50+ in one of the upcoming playoff games.

Look for Baby Bonds to retire before the All-Star Game.

Look for Ichiro to hit around .400 in May.

Look for the Knicks to make additional dumb moves during the off season.

Look for folks to get on the Nets bandwagon.

Look for more E-Notes...
Yesterday, I had a very nice evening at the Washington Post. The Book World section did a wonderful job celebrating "Poet's Choice" with Pinsky, Dove and Hirsch. Good to hear folks talk about the importance of poetry and presenting in such a warm setting. Many thanks for Marie Arana (Editor) for inviting me to be her guest. It was great seeing Jabari Asim and Michael Dirda.

Wole. Wole Soyinka on the cover of the latest issue of Poets & Writers (May/June).
YOU SET FORTH AT DAWN is his latest memoir.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

While it might be difficult to decide who will be the next mayor of DC, it's easy to pick the person who should be the First Lady of this city. No contest here. It should be GWEN ORANGE. She strikes a lovely pose in today's Washington Post - see the Home Section, H5.
Smile Orange.
Recommended reading - "My Mother's Nipples" in SUN UNDER WOOD by Robert Hass.

This morning I discovered the photo work of German-born photographer Michael Wolf.
Be sure to check his work - "The Architecture of Density"
Here is his website:
I'll be heading down to the Washington Post (1150 15th Street, NW)at 6:30 PM to see Rita Dove, Edward Hirsch and Robert Pinsky. The Book World section of the paper is celebrating the 10th anniversary of "Poet's Choice."
Good to see Ichiro go 4 for 4 last night. He is only hitting .227. Look for him to have a hot May and June. He's too good a hitter to stay in a long slump.

Richard Wilbur hitting big. He is the winner of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize of the Poetry Foundation ($100,000).

Michael Jackson has signed with Two Seas Records (a Bahrain-based label).Look for new music from him late next year.

I received the latest issue of African American Review. There are still a lot of Toni Morrison essays in these magazines.
AAR is soliciting papers for a special issue on Representing Segregation slated for 2008. Where did this topic come from?

Poet Haeng Ja Kim, president of the Korean American Poetry Society sent me a few books:
Fragrance Of Poetry (the Korean version). I wrote the introduction to the English edition of this anthology.
A volume of Haeng Ja Kim's own work.
A Lonely Road edited by Yoon-Ho Cho. This is a book of poetry which captures the Korean Immigrant Experience. It was published last year. Copies can be obtained from the following address:
Korean Expatriate Literature
11533 East Promenade Drive
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I'll be on the Diane Rehm Show (NPR) this morning with
fellow poets Edward Hirsch and Linda Pastan. 11AM (EST).

We are winning the war and that's why we are dying. If we were losing the war we wouldn't want to die anymore.
- E. Ethelbert Miller

"What we are capable of
is always astonishing,
though never quite a surprise."
- Linda Pastan

" The poem is a genie that comes out of the bottle to liberate the reader's imagination, the divinity within."
- Edward Hirsch

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Be sure to obtain your Sugar Ray
Robinson stamps.

Knockout! 39 cents.


My belly was never full when I was a boy.

I slept in a back room in the Bronx. Richard

near the wall dreamt of becoming a monk.

Merton? In Southern states people bowed

their heads against segregation. Restaurants

had colored signs and no menus. It was a time

of hunger and a taste for change. Amazing grace.

E. Ethelbert Miller
Before leaving the King, I spoke with Lady E of the Literature Division. She expressed the staff interest is creating a special poetry room (space) in the new public library that MUST be built. It would be cool to have a central area just for poetry. It would be DC's own Poet's House. I hope poets and literary organizations will write letters and support the idea. This is wonderful project for the DC Arts Commission, our poet laureate and area writing programs to support.

I checked out 2 library books before rushing to catch the bus to Howard. In my bag I placed:
BEGIN AGAIN by Grace Paley and SUN UNDER WOOD by Robert Hass.
I went down to the MLKing Library and participated in their "A Minute for Poetry" program. In celebration of National Poetry Month, library staff members and invited friends are reading a poem over the speaker system each morning at 11:30 AM. I read " A Poem For Myself" by Etheridge Knight:

"I was born in Mississippi;
I walked barefooted thru the mud.
Born black in Mississippi,
Walked barefooted thru the mud.
But, when I reached the age of twelve
I left that place for good.
Said my daddy chopped cotton
And he drank his liquor straight.
When I left that Sunday morning
He was leaning on the barnyard gate."

Taken from BORN OF A WOMAN by Etheridge Knight
Houghton Mifflin Company Boston 1980
Why are E-Notes important?
On March 14,2006 I mentioned that Ken Griffey would be injured by the end of April. Griffey was placed on the DL after a test found inflammation in a tendon behind his right knee. The guy has already missed 5 games.

Look for Frank Robinson to be gone if the Nats don't win big in May.

Changing the ball...why would Rudy Gay declare himself ready for the NBA? The guy needs to stay at UConn and learn the game. Who is he going to guard on the next level?
Etheridge Knight's 75th birthday is this week (April 19th). Celebrate by reading his work and keeping his spirit alive.

Fidel Castro will turn 80 this year.
Not good. So many strange things happening the last couple of years. In baseball, the Red Sox and White Sox won the last 2 World Series. I told folks to look for an earthquake in SF if the Cubs won this year. Yipes. The Cubs are a 1/2 game out of first place in their division. 100 years since the big quake in SF. A coincidence? What would Dick Gregory think?

Monday, April 17, 2006


Columbia University is conducting research through a survey that askswhy creative individuals (artists, writers, musicians, publishers, etc.)choose their locations in order to understand how and why clusters ofcultural activities form in a given place; and their affect to density,the built environment, and finally analyze the impacts to real estate.If you consider yourself to be in the Arts / Creative Industries (evenif this is NOT your full-time job) - please perform the survey: would be more than happy to share our published results at the end ofthe research or speak with you about our hypothesis, etc.Thank you in advance for your time and cooperation. Please feel free toforward.Wendy CastroColumbia UniversityGraduate StudentMSc. Real Estate Development
My son moved his DVD library back home this weekend. He has a number of films I placed (how long ago?)on my personal top shelf for viewing later. Movies that I needed to see but didn't. So this morning I looked at MONSTER'S BALL. Halle Berry always looks like she's acting even when she's having sex. Sean Combs made me wonder how he managed not to get the chair earlier in the script. Was he being given the chair because he was a bad actor? Mos Def can steal a film by just having a few seconds on the screen. I love his opening appearance. MONSTER'S BALL is a forgettable film. It has that CRASH moral tone. People can move beyond the past so you have to clap for this. The only thing missing from this movie was Marvin Gaye singing "Sexual Healing."
Halle Berry gets a gas station named after her. I kept trying to decode the sexual joke here...
Be careful whenever someone decides to lift their hood. Gas is expensive these days. The price of some things keep rising. How many of us run out of love? Nothing left but a cheap kiss and a flat.
Like American Idol the media is getting ready for a news change. Look for more articles on Nepal and maybe Chad to be on page 1 of newspapers and the lead or second story on television.
King Gyanendra is about to become a household name.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Energy/Experimentation: Black Artists and Abstraction 1964-1980 at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Sacred Activism:

This is one of the best essays I've read this year.
The story of Napoleon Beazley:

A film which examines the juvenile death penalty...
"Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae. What a "cute" singer. Now, if she only had someone who could write a decent song for her. Not a great voice but a sweet one. Can you drink while listening to her? What's the age limit here?
Small news but big news:

- A growing number of states are passing laws raising dependent age limits on family health policies. This is a good thing; coverage until one is 30 years old.

-Venezuela and Cuba recently teamed up to revamp an oil refinery in Cuba. The revamped refinery will help Cuba reduce its fuel imports. It would also supply energy to other Caribbean nations.

- Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr, died this month. He was an important Civil rights and antiwar campaigner. A strong believer in the power of civil disobedience. For many years he was an outspoken chaplain at Yale University. He preached that courage was the first virtue, because it makes all other virtures possible.
Must reading for all creative writing students (poets) is The New York Times Book Review(4/16/06) of David Lehman's THE OXFORD BOOK OF AMERICAN POETRY. William Logan is the reviewer.
His review underscores how editors too often promote the work of friends or just the type of work they like. No problem with this, but what happens when the anthology is the Oxford one.
Then it's official -right? I chuckled when I read Logan's comments about Ashbery and Anne Carson.
Well, I'm happy to be in the Oxford Anthology of African American Poetry. He He. Separate but EQual.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

This morningI started pulling together my remarks for the HU Black Arts Movement Conference (Thursday). I should have everything completed in a few hours.

Melissa T came by this afternoon and we laughed and talked. She will be getting married next month. Many blessings...

I went downtown around 3PM and had a sandwich at Cosi (12th & G Street, NW). I read a number of Poet Lore submissions. The weather was nice. It felt good being in a different part of the city. Not U. A nice woman by the name of Priya asked if she could sit at my table. We had a nice chat about Opera, England and social relationships.

Around 5 PM I walked down 11th Street to Chapters bookstore. This is a bookstore I seldom visit for reasons too many to mention. I looked around at the books on the shelf and felt like I was in Maine or Vermont "with" the snow. Chapters pretends to be an American bookstore but you have to look for color everywhere. The only reason for me visiting this "chapter" today was because Sandy Taylor (from Curbstone) was reading with Lyubomir Levchev and his son Vladimir Levchev. Sandy just published ASHES OF LIGHT by L. Levchev. The book includes "Tomorrow's Bread" which is a good poem. During the Q & A folks were trying to name another father and son combo. I thought immediately of Ras and Amiri Baraka, but then my son has been finding his voice and is writing poems too.

During the reading I glanced over my shoulder and to my surprise there was Anu. I only looked back once, not wanting to lose her forever or think it was my imagination.
Anyway, when the program ended I looked for the door as if I was Nelson Mandela exiting a prison in South Africa. I did say a hello to Myra Sklarew (what a saint) who was in the audience.

Anu and I decided to get something to eat. We walked over to Chinatown and found a table in the window of Chinatown Garden. Conversation and food and then we said good-bye on the corner of 7th & H Street. So many people out tonight. Someone should bring back "Shuffle Along" before the Depression hits or another Chapters open.
Note in the Wall Street Journal today - Global temperatures to rise 5.4 degrees this century.
This will create water shortages. Get ready.
The word for the next few months is - Execute. Look for it to be quoted by politicians and poets.
Here is the source: this what my E Stands for?
If you don't b'lieve I'm leavin'
Count de days I'm gone.

When the dictator opened his eyes
it was early in the morning. There were
several prisoners still waiting to be tortured.

They were in a cold cell hunched over like
bruised apples and plums; their skin peeling
where hands had washed them with pain.

The dictator yawned and scratched himself where
the media could not see. Lately too many things in
the country were going unreported.

No one compiled
the list
of nightmares refrigerated by the police.

The dictator pushed aside his blanket like it was
democracy. His own people were beginning
to leave a bad taste in his mouth. On the table

near his bed an orange was bleeding.

- E. Ethelbert Miller

Friday, April 14, 2006

REGISTER NOW!North Country Institute and Retreat for Writers of ColorPoetry, Fiction, & Memoir Summer Institute at the Valcour Educational and Conference CenterValcour, New YorkJune 11, 2006 - June 16, 2006.We invite you to take advantage of a relaxed and inviting environment to work on your writing with faculty mentors and workshop leaders. You will also have an opportunity to participate in workshops, readings, individualized conferences, and cultural activities.Faculty Mentors: Poet, Meena AlexanderFiction Writer, Jeffrey Renard Allen, Memoir, E. Ethelbert Miller. Institute/Workshop FeesTuition, lodging and meals are $700. Lodging is based on double occupancy.For more information contact Dr. Brenda M. Greene The Center for Black Literature Medgar Evers College, CUNY 718 270-6976 OR Dr. Jose TorresEnglish DepartmentSUNY, Plattsburgh518 564 2413Torresj2@plattsburgh.eduwww.plattsburgh.rfu/offices/academic/writers of color/faculty2006.php
Job for YOU?

The Department of Literature in the College of Arts and Sciences at American University invites applications for a one-year temporary full-time Assistant Professor of Fiction Writing beginning August 2006. Teaching obligations include Graduate Fiction Workshop and General Education Courses. 3/3 load, theses, application review. Qualifications include publications in fiction and/or creative non-fiction, experience teaching literature and directing workshops. Desirable secondary qualifications include Writers in Print/In Person, Poetry, the Art of Literary Journalism. American University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action university committed to a diverse faculty, staff and student body. Women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. Send letter, CV and dossier only to Marianne Noble, Chair, Department of Literature, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., American University, Washington DC 20016. Deadline May 17, 2006.
Now my head hurts. I spent several minutes discussing Gay issues with a Muslim friend. He's a devout Muslim...wonderful guy that I've known for years. But he thinks Gays are "weeds." Yipes! Oh, boy. Allah help me here. How do we get people to respect differences? Everyone thinks - the others - are "strange" and what they do should be prevented from "spreading." Just a few weeks ago a guy was in my office trying to sell the Revolutionary Communist line to me. What year is it? Haven't we changed our "Lenin" yet? If you want to know why there is so much conflict in the world, just sit behind my desk for a day. I started the day talking with a Jehovah Witness. Seems like everybody has a pamphlet, seems like everybody has a" gun" full of ideas. Folks keep shooting at each other. Yes, my head hurts and I need to keep my body out of harm's way.
Now Chad and more fighting and sad news coming out of Africa. We need serious disarmament to take place throughout the entire continent. How can a place have more guns than food? It makes no sense. Roads need to be built. Health issues need to be confronted. Where is the clean water?
We have No time for running around playing Westside Story in East or West Africa. We need a new generation of African leaders to rise and take control. Where are our men and women of vision?
No more war crimes. No more 1 big man being responsible for the genocide of thousands. Where is the collective NO.
Where is the YES, for peace, nonviolence and LOVE?
Important information from TEACHING FOR CHANGE:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

In response to the recent protests and student walkouts, Teaching for Change has created a page of resources on teaching about immigration and organizing. This page also features links to information on student rights and free legal aid. Visit and click on Teaching About Immigration.

We are also happy to announce a new series on Katrina on our website. Nationally recognized anti-racist, multicultural educator Enid Lee is doing a series of interviews with Teaching for Change on teaching about Katrina. The first 3-part interview (Part I When you raise money, raise questions, Part II Lessons of history and of hope, Part III Teaching Katrina and meeting NCLB standards) is posted online. Visit and click on Teaching About Katrina.

We hope you find the above resources helpful and welcome any questions, comments, or additional resources you would like to share with us.

Warm Regards,

Ilana Sabban
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Teaching for Change: Building Social Justice, Starting in the Classroom
Tel: (202) 588-7206
Fax: (202) 238-0109
Columbus is somewhere reading The New York Times too. Look for new boats to arrive on U Street. The first jogger was a missionary...
It will be difficult for the area to maintain its diversity without young black professionals giving up those "Younger family" type dreams from Raisin In The Sun. We all have a chance to build a new type of city, but it will be an experiment in living. What a challenge. In high school my Bunsen burner was always going out ending my experiments. I graduated from the darkness of high school in 1968 and came to DC to discover a way to be black and proud. How long will people be able to do that? Notice the parking regulations changing around our churches on Sundays.
Ginger G just sent me this article about U Street that's in today's New York Times:

Yes, the corridor is Cool again. But what about those folks who continue to ask for spare change?
Living on the edge they are often more cold than cool. And what about those aging liberals hanging out at Busboys? Do they still want to change the world or simply watch the world change?
Here are the upcoming broadcast times and dates of my television show -HUMANITIES PROFILED. My guest is E.J. Dionne, Washington Post , Op-Ed columnist. Our topic of discussion is the US Constitution and the rights of US citizens.

Sunday, April 16, 3 PM
Wednesday, April 19, 9 PM
Sunday, April 23, 1 PM
Tuesday, April 25, 5:30 PM
Tuesday, May 2, 6 PM

The program is on COMCAST 95, RCN 10
Alberto Rios has a new book of poems out - THE THEATER OF NIGHT (Copper Canyon). I just invited Rios to become a contributing editor to Poet Lore magazine.
A new issue of Poet Lore is coming out this month. Wait until you see the folks on the cover...
Be sure to read the profile of Pete Seeger by Alec Wilkinson in the latest issue of THE NEW YORKER (April 17, 2006). Bruce Springsteen is releasing a CD of Seeger's songs this month.
Seeger's thoughts:

" Music, as any art, is not an end in itself but is a means for achieving larger ends."

"Music as a group activity is more important than music as an individual accomplishment."

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I'll repeat an E-Note. Ring the bell again. If the Nationals get off to a slow start look for the fans to disappear from RFK. If the team ever gets an owner I expect a change in the manager position. They already took Robinson's coaching staff away from him.
This looks like a team with no pitching. No 15-20 game winner.

Ichiro hit a homer tonight but the guy is off to a slow start too.

NBA an E-Note at the beginning of the season I think I was looking at NJ Nets. Is the Kidd back? Cleveland looks like they have that Cub luck...LeBron has to play if they want to sell playoff tickets.
How many playoff games will the Wizards win this year? 1 or 3?

If Kobe isn't selected to be MVP look for him to put up huge numbers in the postseason.
The guy will make a statement. He will probably win 1-2 playoff games at the buzzer. I hope the Lakers ship Kwame Brown to Utah or Denver. Will this team ever get serious and find a center to replace Shaq?
Oh, let's fire Brown and Thomas in New York. Knick this nonsense in the bud. Brown could be running on empty as a coach. Marbury will probably get a ring when he is a back-up sitting on a bench for the Honets or Bobcats. How far away is that?

I'm beginning to like Detroit the more I see them play. They are no longer the badboys but instead the Quiet Storm -Motown's Smokey always sings about. No shelter for the rest of the league.

Look for some dumb NBA trades before next season.
Here is a link to a young musician I met at Simmons this week:
The New York
Festival of International Literature
April 25-30, 2006 or 212 334-1660, ext. 119.
Next Wednesday I'll be doing an NPR program with Edward Hirsch. We will be discussing his wonderful book HOW TO READ A POEM AND FALL IN LOVE WITH POETRY. A good gift for National Poetry Month.
Mail stuff:
New Callaloo out. No real surprises in this publication. Good to see the focus on Tim Seibles. There is a Memoriam to Lorenzo Thomas, but not Ahmos Zu-Bolton. Hmmm...must be another crack in history. Lately the Black literary world has been having more strange earthquakes than Iran.

New issue of Creative Nonfiction has an excerpt from the memoir of Gay Talese, and Gutkind on James Frey.

The April issue of POETRY magazine is the TRANSLATION ISSUE.

Please explain why I'm looking right now at three books that have the same cover:
1. DANCE THE GUNS TO SILENCE edited by Nii Ayikwei Parkes and Kadija Sesay
2.EVERY GOODBYE AIN'T GONE by Aldon Lynn Nielsen and Lauri Ramey
3. POETRY INK edited by Larry Robin

Folks must be downloading art work.
On the way back to DC I read a good slice of GOD SENDS SUNDAY by Arna Bontemps. Geez, it's amazing to read some of the sexist and colorstruck stuff in this novel. The characterLittle Augie talks about Black women this way:

"Black womens is onlucky," he told Bad-foot. "They is evil too, lak black cats. I wouldn't spit on one was she on fire."

How do we discuss this is 2006? Was Bontemps simply capturing the voices of the folks?
There is the statement on the copyright page that reads:
"Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental."
How come I'm hoping the folks are no longer living? Is this a bad thing?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Heading back to DC today. Update on family stuff. My son received his NCAA watch for Widener making it to the sweet 16 for division III colleges. Go Ny.
Looks like my daughter has decided to attend George Washington University's law school in the fall. Go Jazz.

I need to get back to work on my new poetry collection and yes -the memoir.

I'm looking forward to being home for a few weeks. Next trip is New Orleans.

Look for longer E-Notes over the weekend.

Fun at Simmons. I enjoyed reading my poetry and meeting teachers and
students. Big surprise was seeing Sam Diener. He's still a cool
activist, putting out PEACEWORK, a publication associated with the New
England Regional Office of the American Friends Service Committee.

I met Sam when he was doing community work in DC back in the 1980s.

Special thanks today to Afaa Michael Weaver who introduced me at the
reading. Special, Special thanks for Becky Thompson who invited me. I
love her students especially Marlana, Marlana and lovely Lindsey.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I spent two days in Boston doing work for the Massachusetts Cultural Council. I was working with Marge Piercy, Jeff Levine and Rebecca Woff. Good to spend time around my old friends Charles Coe and Candis Jan Stout who work for the organization:

This evening I had dinner with Becky Thompson. We walked around her neighborhood, dropping in to talk with folks at the Jamaicaway Books. See website:
I was scheduled to do a reading here back in January but had to cancel. It's a nice space. I purchased a copy of Arna Bontemps - GOD SENDS SUNDAY. This is a short novel Bontemps wrote back in 1931 about a black jockey of the 1890s.

Becky and I walked down the street and had an Indian meal at Bukhara:
Good conversation.

I've been picking up magazines and newspapers while here. I was knocked over by the GRUB STREET'S QUARTERLY NEWSPAPER. This paper is filled with cool things for writers:
Every city should have a literary rag like this one. The issue I have features an interview with Martha Southgate, the author of THIRD GIRL FROM THE LEFT and THE FALL OF ROME.

I purchased the May- Shambhala Sun. This is the annual Buddhist Teachings issue.

First Muslim oriented Sorority- Gamma Gamma Chi
Created in 2005. Active on the MIT campus.
Look for other chapters to be created. 10 -15 women are needed to start a

Ichiro off to a poor start - .200
But look at Bonds- .167 Steroids?

Stephen Winzenburg wrote the following about Couric in USA Today yesterday:

"The anchor is the quarterback of the evening news team. Couric has years of experience playing the new s game as a receiver, but not as the one calling the plays."

Must we remember Doug Williams? The QB position many folks can play.

by Louis Utchitelle. Knopf. $25.95.

Monday, April 10, 2006

From Katrina to Katie. Look for the major networks to try and restore the anchor position. Ratings need to go up. Is there life after Jennings?

My suggestion is that Oprah be made an evening anchor. She would be given the opportunity to not only report the news but - influence it. With any issue that makes headlines, Oprah might attempt to use her money and connections to try and help. This could be the ultimate reality show; interactive news. A way of getting a handle on global problems? Hmmm.

Alisa Valdes -Rodriguez said some good things about immigration in the Washington Post yesterday:

"The majority of Hispanics in the United States are not immigrants. According to 2004 census data,60 percent of the more than 40 million Hispanics in this country were born here. Of the 40 percent who were born elesewhere, the majority are legal immigrants, not illegal."

"Many illegal immigrants are college students and workers who choose to overstay their visas."

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I'm back from Lake Charles. On the plane from Louisiana to Houston was Bo Diddley...heading out somewhere with the music.

I'm tired but the road heads north. I have a reading this week at Simmons College in Massachusetts. I'm looking forward to seeing Afaa Michael Weaver and Becky Thompson...

If you have to do anything today, be sure to read the OP-ED in The New York Times by Allan Gurganus on the rape case at Duke. Nuff's very well written.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

While sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Lake Charles, I listen to folks talking about finding homes. You can still feel the sadness and uncertainty in the air...Here people remember Hurricane Rita.
How far can one person travel on faith and hope in the unseen?
Worth the read is Haki Madhubuti's short essay "Free Public Libraries: Democracy's Real Test" in Patrick Oliver's TURN THE PAGE AND YOU DON'T STOP!
Congrats Marsha!

Coming to CBS television on April 23: "In from the Night," a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation starring Marcia Gay Harden. This film is based on the memoir, "If Nights Could Talk" written by Bennington Writing Seminars alumna, Marsha Rechnagel. This memoir was her thesis.Click here to see more about the movie:
Last night I caught an episode of THE THIEF on FX. Not bad...worth viewing.
Much talk about the college admissions scramble. The fact is - only 10% of U.S. Colleges are highly selective and most schools accept most of the students who apply. Look for George Mason to benefit from the NCAA basketball games. Funny how schools can become hot. Look for Duke to try and combat the recent negative news stories.
From the SF Chronicle:
"After 15 years of anarchy, Somalia is a failed state, carved into dozens of fiefdoms by competing warlords. It has no police force, no government schools or hospitals; its coastal waters teem with pirates who routinely attack passing ships."

How many other countries will slowly move into this type of chaos?

A recent World Health Report claims the life expectancy in Zimbabwe is 36 years. This is the impact of AIDS and other problems destroying African lifes.

How do we begin to change these this? It was just yesterday that Bob Marley was singing about the beauty of Zimbabwe's independence. How did so many travel down the wrong road?
A book of questions.
I'm in Lake Charles (LA) getting ready to give a talk on Langston Hughes at one of the public libraries. I'll be back home in a few hours.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Ichiro hitting .353. He's off to a good start. Can he hit .400? He's one of the few players that has a chance.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I went to a nice party coordinated by Bendik Rugaas of the Norwegian Embassy. Friends, talk and laughter. Afterwards I walked from Bendik's apartment on 22nd Street over to 16th Street.
Its been a long time since I've seen the area at night. The streets were crowded with mostly young people out enjoying the warm weather. The only black people I saw were homeless or doing valet parking near restaurants. I felt like a brother from another planet. I guess this is how Native Americans felt when they saw the buffalo vanish. I must be the buffalo. Like Lewis without Clark, I find all this simply amazing.
We all have to do something:

APRIL 10 RALLY UPDATE: Monday's big immigration rights rally is now set for the National Mall between 7th and 14th St (instead of the Wash Monument grounds); rally time remains same 4-6:30P. Local organizations are meeting at Malcolm X Park (Euclid & 16th St), and are marching down 16th Street towards the mall. Want to volunteer as a marshal? There's a training session this Saturday: details at
Here is information for young people from one of my friends in Virginia:

ESP seeks your help in identifying a diverse group of current fourthgrade girls and boys who are academically talented and exhibit highcharacter and leadership potential. Student applicants must be fromfamilies who are supportive of their child's educational success andqualify for financial assistance to attend an independent school.ESP is an academic, social enrichment, and self-empowering program. Itis comprised of a fourteen-month course of study offered during sevenweeks of summer classes following a student's fourth and fifth gradesas well as Saturday classes during the fifth grade. The program includes rigorous academic training aimed at preparingstudents for successful entry into the sixth grade at secondaryindependent schools and beyond. Leadership, character, reading, writing,research, history, math, science, fine arts, technology, criticalthinking, and study skills are emphasized.Participation in ESP affords these students the opportunity forreceiving need-based scholarships at one of our participatingindependent schools. Students and families also receive guidance in thesocial and emotional issues related to attending an independent school.I have attached ESP's "Frequently Asked Questions" and the profile ofESP's first two classes for your review. I hope that you visit ESP'sWebsite ( for additional informationabout us. Our application forms may be downloaded from our website. The time for applying has been extended to April 30th, but applicationsshould be submitted as soon as possible. I am asking that you send this request to your network of family,friends, and business associates for their referral. Thank you for your consideration of this request. If you have anyquestions, please contact me. Sincerely,Alvarez LeCesne, J.D.Executive DirectorAlvarez LeCesne, J.D.Executive DirectorEmerging Scholars Program (ESP) 3320 Jermantown RoadOakton, Virginia 22124 Web Page: 584-2307
Days are too short but life isn't any longer.

I was on Jo Reed's radio show (WPFW) this morning discussing poetry and reading a few poems.
It's National Poetry Month again. Also on the show was Sarah Browning and Sistah Joy. Joy is the author of LORD, I'M DANCIN AS FAST AS I CAN and Sarah just edited the wonderful Wartime addtion of Beltway (on line magazine); she read the poem Linda Pastan submitted. Whew.

I had an EC meeting at IPS. Things are moving forward...
Andy Shallal's mural in the conference room is almost finished. Be sure to try and attend the unveiling reception on April 21st at 4 PM. IPS is located at 1112 16th St, NW, Suite 600.

The Department of Radio, Television & Film at Howard University is presenting the Paul Robeson Workshops with Producer/Director Raoul Peck.
April 14 & April 15 in the Screening Room West, C.B. Powell Building, 525 Bryant Street, NW.

Why do we have a Hillary watch? Do we really believe
she can be president or do we just want to watch her run for the
entertainment? Why does the media always create drama? Hillary seems like the type of candidate the Republicans know that could defeat in a national election.

A slick tactic is for the RightWing to promote or encourage candidates they know they can beat in any November contest. Did you really think Dean was going to win once the snow melted in Vermont? Some people play to win the game, others just want to touch the ball.
Several years ago, the good folks of Baltimore made me an honorary citizen. Look what they are doing this weekend:

SATURDAY, APRIL 8TH, 10am- 5 pm
Central Library...400 Cathedral Street
Tyehimba Jess will be there doing LEADBELLY, also Paul Rusesabagina will be there. He was the hotel manager portrayed in the movie Hotel Rwanda. He is the author of AN ORDINARY MAN.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

OK...Ichiro time...back to baseball.
2 hits yesterday. .333 average. Let's see if he can hit close to .400 for the first month.

Sad to see a bad umpire call in that first Nationals game. Omen? Will this be the typical game played over and over? Nats have to avoid the early basement.
So you want to be mayor of DC? Any future mayor of this city is going to have to monitor the rudeness factor that is chewing on the foot that's going to kick someone's butt. Everyday when I'm on the bus or walking down the street- I see and feel it. Displacement by Condo colonials. Race and class issues mixing like something a person might find in one of those weapon labs we couldn't find in Iraq. I'm waiting for an incident to just explode and suddenly those cafes on U Street remind us of Paris - broken glass in the streets. I've seen such "racial" rudeness that this must be the old movie classic - The Attack of The IPods. On the average day folks just push me aside, don't say excuse me, or maybe think I'm invisible. Yes, it's a race thing, baby. I'm thinking about making preemptive strikes... sitting next to folks just to watch them move, claiming two seats instead of one on the subway...yes, it has come to this. And I read in the newspaper, the other day, that a guy in NE can't open his Cluck-U Chicken because of the new residents in a city where his grandparents lived for decades, and some folks want to change the parking permits around some of the black churches in condo neighborhoods. Yes, what would Jesus do? No housing? Is this Bethlehem again? Why are all the colored people shouting "Cluck-U?" What are we going to do when we lose our eggs? And if the eggs are broken - who is going to fix them? Yep, what bunny is going to be the next mayor? Happy Easter!
Important report:
"State of America's Libraries"
A good cookie: The Seville (Triple chocolate) made by Pepperidge Farm.
I had fun talking about poetry in Washington DC at Montgomery College (Takoma Park) this afternoon. I discussed a few of the anthologies that have been coming out of the area since the seventies. Here is a good historical guide to poetry in the DC area:

1. Synergy: An Anthology of Washington DC Black poetry edited by Ahmos Zu-Bolton and E. Ethelbert Miller (1975)
2.The Poet Upstairs edited by Octave Stevenson (1979)
3.Whose Woods These Are edited by Karren LaLonde Alenier (1983)
4.WPFW 89.3 Poetry Anthology edited by Grace Cavalieri (1992)
5. Hungry As We Are edited by Ann Darr (1995)

I read poems by Sterling A. Brown, Vince Goodwin, Michelle Miller and Ahmos Zu-Bolton.
Many thanks for Wendy Ripley who invited me into her classroom.
Don't miss this:

New Mural of IPS and Social Movement History
Inaugural Showing:
Friday, April 21, 4 pm - 5:30 pm
Institute for Policy Studies
1112 16th St. NW, #600
tel: 202 234 9382

Please join the Institute for Policy Studies to celebrate the new mural in our
conference room
created by Andy Shallal. You may be familiar with Andy's art through
the inspirational mural of social justice luminaries in his
restaurant, Busboys and Poets. A member of the Institute for Policy
Studies board, Andy is also a strong ally in our work on the war
through his involvement with Iraqi Americans for Peaceful Alternatives.
The mural traces IPS history from its role in the Civil Rights and
anti-Vietnam War movements to our current work on globalization and
the Iraq War. Please share in our celebration of Andy's artistic
vision and our own proud history of four decades of speaking truth to
What everyone should know:
Look for other ethnic groups (Korean and Chinese) to participate in the immigration demonstrations.
What are folks trying to stop?
Check the legislation being sponsored by Wisconsin Republican James Sensenbrenner - this calls for deportation of all illegal immigrants, construction of a fence along the US border and penalizing those who aid illegal immigrants. This last idea sounds like the "Fugitive Slave Act."
Would you turn in Frederick Douglass?
Immigration bills like this can start a Civil War.

Well here are the best sites to help you find your way around America. If you're legal or illegal you need to know where you're going. Right?
Be sure to follow the developments in Massachusetts as that state seeks to mandate health coverage. It makes since for everyone to have health insurance just like car insurance. We must find ways to protect the uninsured right now. But be careful here. Look at the plan and not the man. Folks are going to give Gov. Mitt Romney a base in order for him to have a chance to steal a presidential nomination. Don't fall for this. I don't expect Massachusetts to be sending anyone to Mass in the Oval Office. It's so difficult "selling" New England politicians to the rest of the nation. Are we still suffering from our devoted love to John Kennedy's style and accent?

Talking health remember your ABCs
A: Abstain
B: Be faithful
C: Condoms

Don't be a DickHead!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The entire evening was spent selecting poems for Poet Lore magazine. Jody and I worked from 7 -11 PM. The next issue will be out the middle of this month.

Meeting tomorrow with poet/artist/former Ambassador Joseph Edmunds.

Barry Bonds catches a fly ball in front of several heckling signs at San Diego's Petco Park. Bonds, who was booed throughout, went 1 for 4 with a double. (By Lenny Ignelzi --Associated Press)

The San Francisco Giants and Major League Baseball will have to hire "Bondsmen" for the rest of the season. If the kind people of San Diego are booing and throwing large plastic syringes what will happen when the Giants play the crazies in other cities. Folks might throw the home run balls back on the field. This could get ugly. Of course Bonds can always fall back on the hurt knee excuse and call it a career before the All-Star game. Maybe some deals are being made right now...
So a leading Islamic jurist has issued a fatwa that declares the exhibition of statues in homes un-Islamic. Let's stop here. Who is this guy and how did he reach this decision? How many people are going to follow this fatwa and why? Let's have a discussion. Is this based on something in the Hadith or Koran?
What was Cynthia McKinney doing before she was stopped? Funny how folks make the news for nonsense. I can't tell you how many times I've walked behind an "important" black person who didn't want to show their ID when entering a building. I always try to respect the guard. I'll show a guard my ID even if he knows me. It's just a basic respect I give to someone doing their job. McKinney is probably pissed that she can't enter Congress like a white man. It's like -she can't get any respect. But why waste our time with something that wouldn't even be on the sports page in Dayton, Ohio. Is it possible someone thought McKinney was an immigrant? It must be the hair - gotta be the hair.

Monday, April 03, 2006

WAR the Wartime Issue, an anthology of poems on Beltway Poetry Quarterly by 46 authors from the Mid-Atlantic region, writing in response to the ongoing presence of the American military in Iraq.Contributors:Luis Alberto Ambroggio * Suzanna Banwell * Virginia E. Bell * Rose Marie Berger * Reginald Dwayne Betts * Linda Blaskey * Jody Bolz * Kyndall Brown * Grace Cavalieri * Adam Chiles * Kyle Dargan * Joanne Rocky Delaplaine * Zein Al-Amine * Yael Flusberg * Sunil Freeman * Parris Garnier * David Gewanter * Piotr Gwiazda * Leah Harris * Melanie Henderson * Esther Iverem * Reuben Jackson * W. Luther Jett * Fred Joiner * Christi Kramer * Joe Lapp * Mike Maggio * Judith McCombs * E. Ethelbert Miller * Carlos Parada * Linda Pastan * Marie Pavlicek-Wehrli * William Rutkowski * Ann Ryan * M.A. Schaffner * Johnna Schmidt * Jennifer Steele * Jeneva Stone * Venus Thrash * Lori Tsang * Melissa Tuckey * Bill Vander Clute * Rosemary Winslow * Ellen Wise * Marcella Wolfe * Ernie Wormwood *Guest editor Sarah Browning writes: "When the politicians are compliant and the press is distracted by the next sparkly thing, the poets continue to believe, to speak out and to say no to fear."Read Beltway Poetry Quarterly at
"Immigrants don't come to America to change America. Immigrants come to be changed by America." - Sen. Mel Martinez (R.,Fla)
"I finally feel like I am alive again. I feel so good. To be able to step outside anytime, to feel the sun directly on your face- to see the whole sky. These are luxuries that we just don't appreciate every day."
- Journalist, Jill Carroll
Voting without a helmet? Do we really know where Lynn Swann stands on issues? If the guy is elected governor of Pennsylvania, look for him to be immediately pushed for the VP spot on a future Republican ticket. Penn is a key state when one looks at the Electoral College. It's sad how we pick our leaders. Are we ugly ducklings voting for Swanns? Whose pond is this anyway?
New plans for Muse2Muse will be coming. I'm going to stop doing public programs and move the idea to my website. Every 2 months, I'll profile and interview an important contemporary poet. Folks will have access to recordings of their work too.
Look for changes on:
Lit News:
I received a catalog from Ausable
My friend Chase Twichell runs this operation. It was founded in 1999.
"Its mission is to publish poetry that investigates and expresses human consciousness in language that goes where prose cannot. We believe that art is our best hope of understanding our world, and that poetry in particular has the power to change the way we perceive ourselves in that world."

Amen. Thanks Chase.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Life is dice
You got to roll it
or get rolled

- From the Book of Bert
Jackie McLean dead at 74. Alto Saxophone player.
I remember bringing this jazz great to Howard back in the early seventies. Look for Rene McLean to keep his father's sound alive. God bless.
Meetings with two friends( MT and Anne B) this morning and afternoon. I also did a telephone interview with ((Julie) a former student from my Emory & Henry Days. She asked excellent questions about my last collection of poems as well as my writing process. She promised to send a review she did of HOW WE SLEEP ON THE NIGHTS WE DON'T MAKE LOVE. Julie is living in Reno.

I took a moment to watch Kobe shoot down the Houston Rockets. Much chatter about who should be the MVP. I think before the NBA season began I made note in my E-Notes that Kobe would win the prize this year. A case can be made for Wade and LeBron, but without Kobe the Lakers wouldn't be heading to the playoffs. LeBron gets my second vote, Wade gets the love.

It was nice to see an article about Roberto Clemente in the Washington Post (Outlook Section).
Clemente was one of those players kids wanted to throw like when they were playing the outfields in the shadows of Bronx housing projects. Clemente was why I was never a Willie Mays fan...
"At a personal level, as a Buddhist practitioner, I deliberately visualize and think about death in my daily practice. Death is not separated from our lives. Due to my research and thoughts about death, I have some guarantee and some conviction that it will be a positive experience."
- The Dalai Lama
Paul Gilroy, Anthony Giddens Professor of Social Theory at the London School of Economics, will be speaking on "Race and the Right to Be Human" on Wed., April 5, from 4:15pm-5:30pm at the Gonda Theatre in the Davis Performing Arts Center at Georgetown University. A reception will follow the lecture, which is free and open to the public.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The best part of the day was having brunch with the Amazing Ginger G. She loaned me a copy of KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM...
I'll watch it tomorrow night.

While in Busboys I purchased two books:

AT 2PM I interviewed Naomi Ayala for Muse2Muse. We had a small audience (in the house was Diva Holly Bass as well as my first wife Mikki) but a film crew from London shot some more folks will hear Naomi. It was fun sitting down and listening to her poems and answers to my questions. She read from her forthcoming book from Curbstone Press - THIS SIDE OF EARLY.
I asked Naomi about the influence of gentrification on her workd and voice as a poet. Other questions examined her faith and the numerous references to food in poems.

My son came home for the amazing to see his growth and development. I think he is looking forward to his sophomore year. His basketball coach is already giving him the green light to shoot more. I'm looking forward to the next season too. It will be nice to return to the NCAA tournament again.

Talking tournament and Division 1 games...I told folks that Mason would probably miss their 3 pts shots and that would be the end of their run. It was a nice run...everyone knows where the school is now. Maybe I'll add that Visiting professor position I had there a few years ago to my bio note. Band wagons are leaving at Midnight.

I received a packet from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. I'm scheduled to teach another workshop their this summer (July 9th - July 14th).
The title of my class is: WRITING THE POLITICAL POEM IN 2006 AND NOT 2008.
It's very similar to the classs I taught there last summer.

Well, back to reading Poet Lore submissions. 7 more packets to read.
I took just a peek at the Nationals last night. I love this team but they look like a squad playing for last place even before the season begins. Too many holes in the gloves. Errors will put a team in the cellar and make fans boo even the best effort on a July or August night. Look for Robinson to be gone if this team starts losing early.
-John Patterson needs to win at least 15 games
-Jose Guillen needs to hit over .300 and send a number of balls over the wall.
- I would be surprised if Chad Cordero can have another year like last year.
- Soriano gets the "Wilson" award from me. Overated and look for him to sulk before the weather gets hot. DC always gets stuck with a guy like this. Why? Kwame Brown in left field.
- I have a feeling that guys like Royce Clayton have to get off to a quick start...steal bases and make plays in the field.
- If this team starts 0-5 they can kiss 2006 good-bye.

Stan Kenton fixes his shirt
and pants. Life ain't nothing
but a big band. How come
the dead no longer swing? I
walk through the kitchen
to the alley behind the club.
Two guys are getting high.
Notes in their arms. Music
stuck in their heads. Needles
singing blood.

- E. Ethelbert Miller