Monday, February 28, 2005

Today I received two posters from Graywolf Press. They are for the Thomas Sayers Ellis book party at Howard University. His new book is THE MAVERICK ROOM. It's a must read for poetry lovers. The book party will take place at the Howard University Bookstore on March 16th at 4:30 PM. There is an interview with Thomas Ellis conducted by Charles Rowell in Callaloo # 27, No. 4. One of my favorite poems in THE MAVERICK ROOM is "All Their Stanzas Look Alike." I read it at Bennington back in January.
Another coin toss. You're the news editor and it's the day after the Oscars. What do you focus on? Another suicide attack in Iraq? We tend to see war as a distraction and the Academy Awards as the real battlefield. Who is going to win? Who lost again?
People die in movies and in real life too. Or is it the other way around? So Chris Rock goes to the Magic Johnson movie theaters and simply shows us what Kerry and Edwards were talking about during their entire campaign to get elected. Which America do you belong to? The one run by the Aviator or The Barbershop? So Foxx gave the same acceptance speech twice? Hmmm...sounds like Living Color. I like how animation is slowing creeping into the Oscar awards. I would suggest that the MC be a cartoon character in 2006. We know Rock won't be back. People are already dusting off Billy Crystal.

Snow in the area. Howard closed early because of the weather storm predictions. The guy who calls the weather must be the same guy who decides on the color of the terror alerts.
Something told me to go purchase Ravi Coltrane's new album. The album (IN FLUX) is dedicated to one of my very best friends- Zoe Anglesey. Zoe died on February 12, 2003. The last composition on Coltrane's CD is "For Zoe." Zoe was like a member of my family.
She was the first person I would call whenever I visited New York. She edited the anthology LISTEN UP! A collection of spoken word poetry that included Tish Benson,Ava Chin, Suheir Hammad,Jessica Moore,Tracie Morris, Willie Perdomo, Carl Hancock Rux, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Saul Stacey Williams. The book has an introduction by Yusef Komunyakaa and an Afterword by Edouard Glissant. One book that should be reprinted is Zoe's important anthology IXOK AMAR GO: CENTRAL AMERICAN WOMEN'S POETRY FOR PEACE...women going forward with love without bitterness. The book was published in 1987 by Granite Press. It was the first bilingual anthology of Central American women's poetry. It included the work of 50 poets. One can find Claribel Alegria, Gioconda Belli and Daisy Zamora in this book of over 600 pages.

In my home office I created a small altar that has Zoe's picture, along with that of the late Reetika Vazirani. These women met for the first time when I presented them at an Ascension poetry reading together at the Folger Shakespeare Library in the late 1990s. Just before Zoe died we curated a visual art exhibit together in Baltimore. I can still see her daughter helping her around as we visited the studios of a number of Baltimore painters. I knew it would be one of the last things we would do together. When I think of Zoe I think of jazz. She was kind, gentle but fierce in her politics and love. She defined friendship for me. I recall how on 9/11 she was ill but still kept checking on my mother who lived a few blocks from The Towers. When Zoe died I wrote the following...

I would like to believe the music never ends; that everything is one note, one breath, given to us only to be given back.

I want to believe that Zoe is not dead. I want to believe somewhere she is working on another translation. This one a final gift for our hearts.

It seems as if too many poets are dying these days. I hope this is not a sign or omen. There are many types of cancer we must continue to confront and fight. I once called Zoe a literary abolitionist, and maybe it is only fitting that she leaves us during Black History Month. A reminder that our history consists of shared traditions and individuals who dedicate their lives to the service of others.

I think I must have also quoted Neruda:

I love you without knowing how, or when
or from where
I love you simply, without problems or pride
I love you in this way because I don't know
any other way of loving
But this, in which there is no I or you
So intimate that your hand upon my chest
is my hand
So intimate that when I fall asleep
it is your eyes that close

Sunday, February 27, 2005

OK, please, please, please, tell me I don't have to listen to Alicia Keys while I'm trying to watch the Zora Neale Hurston TV movie. That's what I was listening to when I saw the promo the other night. This is why you might not want to turn books into films.Yes Alicia, we must all be falling. Can you imagine me doing a film about the Middle Passage and having slave women singing something by Billie Holiday? Soundtracks can also become tracks for your tears. I can see myself crying in March. I can see Halle running through the storm looking like a beach babe; or is it a James Bond movie again? 007, does that give me a license to shoot a movie before it's made?
I had a lovely morning with my friend Vige. We had breakfast at Left Bank on 18th Street. Why are folks going to the Diner when Left Bank is so much nicer? Better omelets and wonderful waiters. They make the omelets right at your table. An old friend Anita came into the place carrying a large pile of old newspapers. Back in the day we would sit around and talk politics. Anita is working on some issues dealing with Sudan. She was one of many friends I introduced Vige to. V is new to the city and loving it. We walked down to DuPont Circle and went to a bookstore, Melody record store and of course Provisions Library. We walked back to Columbia Road and 16th Street. So we spent about 10:30AM-1 PM hanging...
I purchased 2 CDS:Wyclef Jean - Welcome To Haiti Creole 101 and Ravi Coltrane's In Flux.
Here is an important site to visit before you think Black History month is over:


The Oracle Set Foundation is presenting its 38th Annual Book Author Luncheon featuring Wil Haygood. Wil is the author of IN BLACK AND WHITE: THE LIFE OF SAMMY DAVIS , Jr.
The event will take place on Saturday, March 12, 2005. 11:00AM
Cost is $45.
Place: The University of Maryland Inn and Conference Center, 3501 University Boulevard East, Adelphi, MD 20783.
African Americans who have won the Oscar award:

1939 - Hattie McDaniel - GONE WITH THE WIND
1963- Sidney Poitier - LILIES OF THE FIELD
1982- Louis Gossett Jr - AN OFFICE AND A GENTLEMAN
1989- Denzil Washington - GLORY
1990- Whoopi Goldberg- GHOST
1996- Cuba Gooding, Jr -JERRY MAGUIRE
2001- Halle Barry - MONSTER'S BALL
Denzil Washington - TRAINING DAY

I've seen all the movies on the list except MONSTER'S BALL. One can find a similar theme running around in almost all these flicks. The black character exists in order to help the white person get their life together. The movies are about white people and not black people. All the black characters are playing supporting roles. None of the movies would be on my top film list. I don't think I could sit and look at Poitier or Goldberg in their roles again. I love Poitier as a person and respect his contribution to African American culture. I also love nuns when I meet them. I love ghosts but don't care too much for Whoopi. I never found her funny as a comedian.
Give me old Moms when it comes to black females making jokes.
My favorite black actor is Don Cheadle and has been for the last few years. I even loved the commercials he did for the NFL. I haven't seen HOTEL RWANDA but it's on the short list of things to do.
My favorite movie is still THE GODFATHER. Second might be WOMEN IN LOVE. These are films I can watch over and over. I watched FORREST GUMP last night and really enjoyed it. In terms of race relationships it's excellent. It's one of the few films in which a white character risks his life to save a black one.
Tonight I'll watch the Oscars because it should Rock.

Saturday, February 26, 2005


You think of the shots your son made and the ones he missed. You replay the last game and nothing changes, except the amount of time that is no longer there. You walk pass his room and realize the best part of your life was taking him to the playground or maybe it was him asking you. Your son takes the ball from your hand when you reach the park. You watch him dribble and then shoot. As the ball finds its way to the rim years pass and your hands now clutch a high school jersey, sweat wet from the last game. You turn, and take it down to the basement. You set the washing machine on cold. It's how you feel right now. You wish you were back in the park.
You want your son to throw the ball back to you. Maybe you could start all over again. Maybe you could lift him in your arms and whisper something about the love for the game. Maybe he would whisper back that he loves you more than this last one.
So my son's high school basketball career is over. He played a good excellent first half with 9 pts. He missed two critical free throws after getting fouled in the second half. His team missed about 5 straight FTs from the line. You can't win without getting those "free" points. The good news is that the coaches from Widener University were there. That's the school that is really interested in my's going to be his call. I like the folks at Widener...the emphasis is on academics as well as sports.

Earlier in the day I went to the bank. On Columbia Road I bumped into the photographer Jarvis Grant; an old buddy from the Howard dorm days. Jarvis was at the bus stop. I reached into my pocket and presented a coin to him. I told him, "Heads -you're Free, Tails and you're still a slave." I showed him both sides of the coin. Then I said "Call it in the air!" The coin came up heads. "You're free," I said to Jarvis.
"Whew...that was close," he said. I continued on down Columbia Road, looking back at Jarvis. Laughing like Fred Douglass. The coin back in my pocket. Livin' free in America ain't nothin but a coin toss.

Friday, February 25, 2005

So I asked my friend Naima in Philadelphia the following question:

Does racism exist in the forest if everything is green? Hmmmm.
I missed a morning breakfast meeting. It was a result of yesterday's snowstorm and changes to my schedule. :-( This evening I put together a new program schedule.

Two high schools in Virginia want me to visit and give a talk: Centreville H.S. and Lake Braddock H.S. I got back to folks with dates. I try to visit Braddock every spring. I love the people there.

I'll be interviewing Harry Belafonte on the morning of April 6th for an IPS radio program. Belafonte is the artist I really admire. The guy is # 1 for me. I'm really looking forward to sitting down with him.

Michon my producer for Humanities Profiled is contacting Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We hope to do a television show with her around the Bill of Rights.
The tentative month is May.

So I have a number of upcoming programs I really need to read and prepare for.

I came home and in a pile of mail was a letter of acceptance from Hampton addressed to my son. It was fun to see him open it. In a couple of weeks he will have to sit down and look at these colleges and make a decision. Also in the mail was a package from a school in Louisiana...somewhere in Shreveport. I asked my son...are you going there? The school liked the tape of one of his games. They are requesting grades and SAT scores. I'll try to get that out next week. We have a meeting scheduled for Howard next week. It's all good.

I faxed my blurb to the University of Arkansas Press for a new book of poetics being edited by Maxine Kumin. The book will be published in Fall 2005.

It was sad to learn about the suicide bomb in Tel Aviv. I hope the peace process will continue to go forward. I recall sitting in a cafe in Tel Aviv just a few months ago...the owner trying to get me to return the next day for a poetry reading.

My friend Aida loaned me a small book of poems by a German couple. The title is LOVE- LUST- LOSS by Walter W. Holbling & Gabriele Potscher. I'll read it this weekend.

Tomorrow my son's basketball game is 4:30 PM. A win and we move into Sunday.
Vote for a writer. I had a chat with Rob Ramer (in MN) about the National Writers Union finding candidates to run for office on the local level. I think we should no longer sit on the sidelines and have the political realm be taken over by former athletes and entertainers. I can think of a number of writers I would vote for if their names were on a ballot. I think our issues are healthcare, unemployment, education, funds for public libraries, and the war. On the national level I think Toni Morrison would make an excellent senator. Can you see Pinsky back on the Hill- this time not as poet laureate but as a congressman? A very long time ago the City Paper in DC had me on the cover running for mayor. be a poet like Neruda.
Another PBS film you might want to watch will air on March 29th. It's LET THE CHURCH SAY AMEN. The story of a storefront church in Washington, told through the lives of four of its members.

I thought Danny Duncan Collum's essay in the latest issue of Sojourners was very funny. It was his response to steroids. Here is an excerpt:

"Then there's Popeye himself, the first celebrity user of performance-enhancing substances. We all know that wasn't really spinach in that can. Judging from the way it pumped him up, it had to be some kind of designer steroid, or maybe some good old-fashioned human growth hormone. No doubt about it. Popeye was the orignal BALCO lab rat."

Oh...and Collum had this to say in the same piece:

"Maybe someday, in the not-too-distant future, today's chemically altered, semi-synthetic athletes will be replaced entirely by robots or, better yet, clones , and maybe no one will care."

Nathan Wright Jr died at the age of 81 this week. Advocate of Black Power. He chaired the first National Conference on Black Power in Newark, 1967. He was the author of BLACK POWER AND URBAN UNREST, as well as READY TO RIOT. Wright was the author of 18 books. He was the guy who popularized the term "empowerment." The term was first used in 1967 when Wright was testifying in favor of low-income housing legislation proposed by Senator Charles H. Percy, Republican of Illinois.

It looks like the snow might cancel my son's basketball game today. I received a note last night from one of the coaches of a school he is looking at. Big decision to make. I think it's so important to look at a college for quality education first and then their sports program. I'm also looking at where my son can improve as a player too. Will he fit into the program? How much playing time will he get in his freshman year?
Excerpt from a poem by Allison Joseph:


Give me a man whith a quick first step,
with court vision that takes in all of me
a man who can play in the paint,
score from all over, finding my perimeter,
a man who can drive my lane.
Give me a man who makes his free throws,
ready to shoot two whenever I demand.
My interior defense isn't tough to crack,
I'm wide open, and I can handle the ball.
I don't care for monster dunks,
for slam-jam-thank-you-ma'am.
I'd rather have a man who can teach me
the delicate technique of the finger roll...

Allison Joseph is the author of SOUL TRAIN and IMITATION OF LIFE.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

My son's team won last night in the first round of the WCAC tournament. They had a blowout victory against St.Marys Ryken. My son had 7pts in limited action. Next game is Friday against O'Connell. Time is 6:45 PM at Gallaudet University (800 Florida Ave, NE). I think the Washington Post might have O'Connell ranked as high as 4th in the area. I know they defeated my son's team by about 40 pts the last time they met. My son was knocked out of the game in the first quarter after a terrible fall driving to the basket. Rematch...4 games to a City Championship. Friday's game is the key game.
Snow coming this way and I feel like Bigger Thomas heading to a rooftop... I sent Karla Davis at the University of Minnesota my April lecture topic. I will be giving a talk there on April 21st. Topic: When Love Turns Into Letters: My Correspondence and relationship with June Jordan. I recently donated over 200 of June letters to the Givens Collection at the University. The letters are from 1975-1999.

I received a card from the Poets House in New York. Star Black is presenting "A Poet's Eye for Collage" from March 11-April 29th. Opening reception is Friday, March 11th. Star Black is a poet and photographer. I met her many years ago. The Poets House is located at 72 Spring Street,2nd Fl in New York. Here is their website:

The IPS/Muslim meeting at Howard went well. A good exchange of views...
I wish we had more people in attendance but I think a working foundation has been established. Building bridges and networking is critical if we are to create a better society and world.

I watched the movie DIRTY WAR on PBS. This is the 2004 film about British authorities tracking terrorists who detonated a dirty bomb in London. The film is interesting in terms of how woman are presented and the roles they play. For example an older woman (maybe from Pakistan) is responsible for noticing "strange" neighbors next door. She's the type of older woman I grew up seeing in Bronx windows. She told your mother if you were bad. Well it seems as if these women are still our first line of defense against everthing that's wrong with the world (which includes sometimes ourselves). The British woman who is the minister for London is just stupid and represents woman who shouldn't be given authority during times of crisis. Hmmm. Why can't men be this dumb too? One would come away thinking that the British woman is as guilty as the terrorists. Anyway, the film is good for how it explains the working of a terrorist cell. It shows how international this battle against terrorism is. But what about the dirty war? Well I always felt the long term effects is where the real danger is. Women who might be pregnant, folks having health problems years later, or just the psychological problems of survivors. The one thing we know is that because it's London the sick folks shown in hospitals near the end of the film have better health coverage than we do. We can't blame the terrorists for the fact that we don't. Oh, the discussion after the film was PBS nonsense. I believed it was staged at George Washington University. Some of the experts sounded as silly as the folks that were in the movie. Go figure. These folks should always wear a mask and have a secret way of contacting Batman in case of any emergency. Call me Robin.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Toy makers continue to go out of business. Children are losing interest as a result of video games, the internet, and cable television. Read today's article in the New York Times business section, "More Gloom on the Island of Lost Toy Makers." Section C1.
Reggie Roby dead at 43. :-(
I remember Roby punting the way Vick throws today. The guy could kick...some of those balls are still up there.
Are there any African American punters in the NFL today?
Mark Doty has a new book of poetry coming out in April. The title is SCHOOL OF THE ARTS.

"Art used to mean paintings and statues. Now it means practically anything human-made that is unclassifiable otherwise. This loss of a commonsense definition is a big art-critical problem..."
- Peter Schjeldahl, THE NEW YORKER (2/28/05)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Last night I watched MALCOLM X: MAKE IT PLAIN on Channel 22 (PBS/Baltimore). I'm always moved when I listen to Malcolm. This week marks the 40th anniversary of his assassination. Historian Manning Marable is working on a new biography of Malcolm X.
It will be published by Viking Press in 2008. Marable will comment on the missing chapters (3) of Malcolm's autobiography which was written by Alex Haley.

Tomorrow at Howard University I will be coordinating a meeting between the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and members of the local Muslim community. I think it will present a wonderful opportunity to exchange views and ideas. It looks like quite a number of people will be attending. The meeting will take place at 2:30 PM in the African American Resource Center, Howard University, 3rd floor, Room 300.

I'm just back from a family evening at the City Tavern located in Georgetown. It's an exclusive private club. Family friend Mario treated my entire family to a lovely evening. It was fun. Good conversation and good food.

Earlier in the day I made sure my son's college application to Howard was in order.
It's one of the schools where he might consider attending. Right now it might be his second choice, I don't know. I paid the deposit and delivered an additional letter of recommendation. The only thing missing were his SAT grades. We sent that over this evening.

I had lunch today with Karen Dolan (IPS). A great woman with a wonderful sense of humor. We discussed IPS stuff and chewed our lunch.

A couple of emails from writers I like: Meri Danquah, Paul Beatty...

I received in the mail information about the upcoming Virginia Festival of the Book.
The festival takes place from March 16-20, 2005. I have two readings to give. Here is the festival website:

I've been back in touch with Dr. Joyce A. Joyce. She is editing an excellent faculty newspaper at Temple University. Whew...they could sell this thing on the newstand.
In the latest issue (February 15th) there is an very good essay by Aldon Lynn Nielson in which he writes about his relationship with C.L.R. James. It would be nice for Nielson to write more of these types of essays. The guy is a fantastic scholar but he also has an Oprah side.
Oh, on the front page of the Temple University Faculty Herald is a picture of Wilbert Jenkins. The guy is an associate professor of history at Temple. I must be getting old. I remember when he was one of my work study students. Way to go Jenk.

I have a couple of magazines to read before taking a nap: The New Yorker, Sojourners, The Progressive, In These Times and Black Issue Book Review.

7PM tomorrow night is African JumpBall at Gonzaga. My son's team begin their
tournament drive...
It's all about numbers. If they were to win their next 5 games they would be City Champs. Just 5 games. If my son can score double figures in his next 5's very possible. Any game in which he only has 4-6 points...then it's over. It will be his last high school basketball game. It's all about numbers. It's about words if you're a poet.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Important numbers:

Billie Holiday's 90th birthday this year.
Malcolm X's 80th birthday. The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Education Center at the Audubon in New York is slated to open on May 19th.
This February marks the 40th anniversary of Malcolm's death.

I went to Borders in SilverSpring and purchased that 2 disc Black Power: Music of A Revolution.
It's a clever production. Snaps of Malcolm, H. Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael...and yes Huey, Huey with music from everyone from Curtis Mayfield, The Isley Brothers, Parliament, and The Parliament. I must know the words to every song by heart. Listening to this might make my afro grow back. Watch out.
"Before 1995 there were some 350 college degree programs for prisoners in the United States. Today there are about a dozen, four of them in New York State."

The above quote is taken from yesterday NY Times magazine. Try and obtain a copy of Ian Buruma's "What teaching a college-level class at a maximum-security correctional facility did for the inmates- and for me."

Without an education a prisoner can't contribute to society upon his/her release.
Must we have another Attica before we change things? As a literary activist I continue to work with prisons and prisoners whenever I have the opportunity. I remember visiting a facility in Utah with Quincy Troupe and Kalamu Ya Salaam. It was obvious that everyone of those young men behind bars was not a Utah Jazz fan. They really enjoyed the poems and views we shared with them. Once I remember visiting a facility in Utah and not seeing any black people behind bars. I immediately shared that insight with folks...there was laughter because we all know about stereotypes when it comes to prisoners.
"Since baseball time is measured only in outs, all you have to do is succeed utterly; keep hitting, keep the rally alive, and you have defeated time. You remain forever young."
- Roger Angell

Yesterday I took a long ride out to Leonardtown, Maryland to watch my son's last game of the regular season. I told folks how long it takes to get out there...but of course who listens to me. It was halftime when we got there. son's team won big but they were playing the worst team in their conference.
Everything begins this Wednesday...tournament time.

The college where I think my son will be playing next year called again. I like the people and feel my son will get a good education at the school. That's the key thing.

Today is a holiday! Yesss......... I'm just relaxing. I'll get together with a friend for breakfast in Silver Spring.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Oh...yesterday's editorial and cartoon in the Howard University newspaper (The Hilltop) was about robots:

"Robo-Army...Deploying Soon"

Yep...this is what I've been trying to tell folks. Robots will hit like cellphones in about 2-3 years. We still need to discuss philosophical and ethical questions.
Should robots be trained to kill humans? Who is responsible if a robot kills an innocent civilian? Will robots be programmed to identify the race of a target? I recall police dogs being trained to attack only blacks. Hmmm. Asimov help me out on this one.
I'm listening to old Laura Nyro albums:

Mother's Spiritual

A package came from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. I'll be teaching a class there, August 14- August 19 (9AM - 12 Noon).
The class will be called "Writing the Political Poem: A Workshop in Poetry not Politics. I need to outline the things I plan to do. I have to select reading assignments, etc. If anyone has suggestions such as favorite writers, poems, or essays, drop me a note at:
For info about the Center go to:

I talked on the phone today with James Yee, the former Chaplain in the U.S. Army who was at Guantanamo Bay and arrested on espionage charges. I think Yee has a story to tell that might be helpful to future Americans. So many issues coming out of the current war. It's important that we learn from the mistakes we make in order for future generations to look to us for guidance. Yee is looking for a publisher. If someone has a contact send it this way.
Today there was an article about Yee that was in THE HERALD, coming out of Everett, Washington. The title is "Yee injustice mustn't be swept under rug" by Shabbir Bala,, published, Saturday, February 19, 2005.
I had a Poet Lore meeting at 8:45 AM at Cosi in DuPont Circle. I just made it back home after buying a bag of doughnuts. I decided to skip the movies and just return home and relax. This is the first Saturday in several months that I don't have any deadlines. I plan to take a long nap around 2 PM.

I saw Frank Robinson the manager of our new baseball team down in Florida wearing a new Nationals hat.I knew folks were going to drop those W caps. The new hats have DC on them.

With all the steroids juicing baseball look for a player to have a year that will bring fans out. I'm going with Ichiro. I think he could hit 400 and maybe even take a crack at hitting in 56 straight games. I know...say it ain't so Joe.
Ichiro is just the opposite of all these guys who are trying to be larger than large and hit the ball out of the park. Ichiro is an artist playing on a baseball canvas.
My son's team was defeated again. They were trying to extend a win streak to 3. No way they should be losing these games. The last game of the season is Sunday. The tournament games will be at Trinty College next week. The way folks are playing they will be going home after the first game. Bert knows basketball but I'm gonna blog my blog.

In other news...Samuel Alderson died. He was the inventor of the Crash-test dummy.

I might take myself to the movies later today (after a Poet Lore meeting). I'll check Million Dollar Baby out.

This weekend I'll clean the desk off and start working on my June Jordan talk.
I'll pull together an outline first. I'll also start reading JEFFERSON'S PILLOW by Roger Wilkins and get ready for our April television interview.

The latest issue of Black Issues Book Review is out. Alicia Keys is on the cover.
And this is the poetry issue?..Go figure.

I'm quoted in Samantha Thornhill's article " Star Poets and Poet Stars" and made the following statement about folks thinking poetry is inaccessible:

"W.E.B. DuBois wore suits, so should some of our poems...Poetry demands patience and time to understand. If a poem is 'inaccessible' then I suggest the reader listen to Cecil Taylor or Anthony Braxton and read the poem again. Jazz can be inaccesible at times. Do we ask folks not to play it?"

There is also a short review of my last book in this March-April issue of BIBR.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Yesterday at breakfast, I asked Bernadine Evaristo for the names of important Black British writers, I should be reading. She suggested four:

Andrea Levy
Jacob Ross
Divan Adebayo
Diana Evans

More to read, more to learn.
Back to robots. Did you see the frontpage article in the New York Times on February 16th? It was about the robotic soldiers:

"Despite the obstacles, Congress ordered in 2000 that a third of the ground vehicles and a third of deep-strike aircraft in the military must become robotic within a decade."

"Money, in fact, may matter more than morals. The Pentagon today owes its soldiers $653 billion in future retirement benefits that it cannot presently pay. Robots, unlike old soldiers, do not fade away. The median lifetime cost of a soldier is about $4 million today and growing, according to a Pentagon study. Robot soldiers could cost a tenth of that or less"

THREE RULES FOR ROBOTS developed by Isaac Asimov:

Rule 1
Do not hurt humans.

Rule 2
Obey humans unless that violates Rule 1.

Rule 3
Defend yourself unless that violates Rules 1 and 2.
One of the major events to follow is the fallout from the National Hockey League srike. This is not good. Almost 400 of the 700 -plus N.H.L players are working in Europe.They might stay there next season.

I keep telling folks to always follow the labor problems in sports. They affect ALL Workers. It's not about how much money players are making. It's about labor rights and protection in the workplace. Think about the issue of privacy and how it relates to drug testing for baseball players. It's not just about peeing in a cup. It's about who "owns" the cup and what they plan to do with the results. Are you going to be protected? Think about Bob Marley not being able to record his music because of the detection of some weed in his system.

In every industry there are going to be replacement players and owners are going to keep costs down. And the robots are coming...

Keep an eye on the NBA next...also look at how the WNBA is keeping those women basketball stars in check. No big bucks for them.

I'm waiting for the steroids issue to hit the literary world. How many poets have been "juicing" themselves up before readings? What would you do in order to win a National Book Award? Hmmm...your writing hands were never that large. Why do you use so many "big" words in your prose? You're not James Joyce - but didn't you play for the Cardinals?
I'm a little behind in my E-Notes. Much to here's an update on yesterday.
I had a morning breakfast at the Diner in Adams Morgan with Amy Stolls (NEA)who has a first book coming out this spring, and Bernardine Evaristo. Bernardine is a well known Black British writer. She is the author of SOUL TOURISTS, THE EMPEROR'S BABE AND LARA. Here is her website: We spent the morning talking about trends in African Ameican poetry and many other things. I had heard about Bernardine from Afaa M. Weaver a few months ago.

Yesterday evening I joined the celebration of the release of FRAGRANCE OF POETRY: KOREAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE edited by Yearn Choi. In the introduction to the book I wrote the following:

Much of what I've learned about Korean culture, especially its literature, has been from Don Mee. She has recently translated into English the poetry of such Korean women writers as Ch'oe Sung-ja, Kim Hye-sun, and Yi Yon ju. From reading Don Mee's translations a new world opened to me. I have always viewed poetry as a bridge by which people discover the hearts of others. Words and images permit us with a way to walk from one culture into another. In our changing world the last borders are languages.

Well, it's Friday and I have a number of meetings at Howard. I have Poet Lore packets to read by tomorrow. My son's last basketball games are this evening and Sunday. It's something I need to find time to write about. It's not just the ending of a season but a period in one's life. I was thinking about the two of us walking down Columbia Road to Pierce Park around 6AM. We would be carrying a basketball and I was always telling him that "the ball is your friend." So that's why you don't kick it or throw it over the fence when you get angry. We would stay outside doing nothing but drills in the early morning hours. Folks on their way to work would look at and then someone was amazed at a kid so young hitting baskets. Last year we returned to the old neighborhood. My son was you see how much time just vanishes. We parked near the old park. My son was dressed in his high school team outfit. A couple of people recognized him and was just amazed at how he had grown. They shook their heads in amazement when he told them he was the captain of his team- one of the best basketball program in the area. So now that's ending and I wonder what's next.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Wednesday was a very long day. I took the Metro (Red Line) over to the WAMU studio. I stopped at the Starbucks around the corner and ran into a guy I met at the library several months ago when I held my first "Muse to Muse" program with Melissa Tuckey. We talked about the city and also Dick Weber who died on Monday. Weber was one of the greatest bowlers to ever live.

Outside the door to the station a guy was emptying bins filled with books. He said they were free for anyone who wanted to take them. I took NO COWARD SOLDIERS: BLACK CULTURAL POLITICS IN POSTWAR AMERICA by Waldo Martin, Jr. It's a Harvard University Press book. I've never heard about it. I was surprised to find my name listed in the index. Martin quoted a poem I wrote several years ago when I was in Saudi Arabia.

The Diane Rehm Show was fun. I discussed THE KNOWN WORLD by Edward Jones with Roger Wilkens and Lisa Page. I like both of them so they was much banter before and after the show. Both Roger and Lisa made good points about the novel. If you want to access the show go to the NPR website and locate the Diane Rehm Show. They are kept in the NPR archives.

My friend Sally who lives in Virginia met me after the show. We went up the street to a restaurant she likes: 49 Twelve Thai Cuisine (located at 4912 Wisconsin Ave, NW). Sally talked about her art work and some of problems she was having. After lunch she drove me to Howard. I spent the afternoon in a thesis committee meeting with a graduate art student.

I took the Red Line again after work and headed up to Rockville, Maryland. I attended a meeting coordinated by Councilwomen Hoffmann. It was a meeting to explore the idea of sponsoring a regional nonfiction literary affair. I gave folks some ideas. The meeting lasted until about 9PM.

Taking the train back into DC I decided to exit at DuPont Circle. I ate at another Thai restaurant (Bua) on 16th and P Street. I decided to grab something quick to eat...boy did their hot spicy dishes wake me up.

I caught the Silver Spring bus at 16th and P. It was crowded with at least 10 different languages being spoken. I found it interesting how all the people of color were heading home. Meanwhile, back in the Bua people were eating and talking about real estate and business. A tale of two cities.
Well yesterday will knock you down. My son's team won last night in OT. Whew...That's 2 games in a row now. It looks like they might go into the conference tournament with a 4 game win streak. My son had a good defensive game. He had 4 pts- all key free throws near the end of the game.

OK...I'm getting ready for the Diane Rehm Show (NPR) in a few hours.

I'll have lunch with a friend afterwards and then get back to Howard for a thesis meeting with a graduate art student

In the evening I'll travel to Rockville to meet with City Council folks interested in developing a literary conference.

I'll be reading Poet Lore submissions while on the Metro.

Had a fun conversation with Verta Mae. She should be in THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD.
That's who I would place in the cast. Verta is filled with so much folklore and Vibration Cookin.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I will place my last Bennington packet in the mail today. Whew...
This mean now I can focus on reading the Poet Lore submissions that are under my desk. I have an editor's meeting on Saturday.

Tonight is Senior Night at Gonzaga for my son and his fellow basketball teammates who are graduating in a few months. Game tonight at 7:30 PM.

My son is coming off an injury and will be playing again tonight. His team won their last game breaking what I think was a 4 or 5 game losing streak. If they could begin a new winning streak of about 7 or 8 games they would be looking at a City Championship. Not impossible. The team to beat is DeMatha. They have defeated Gonzaga three times this season; they are also ranked as one of the top basketball teams in the country. They defeated last week a New Jersey team that was ranked 4th in the US. Gonzaga has played DeMatha well in every game...upset?

Monday, February 14, 2005

This evening I saw people rushing into Safeway to purchase cheap Valentine Day gifts. Cheap flowers and boxes of candy. You could see as they stood on the line that it was not about love but about buying a few moments of peace and maybe an evening without arguments. The cheap gifts were just a way of getting through the door. A love passport without luggage. In a few days the cards will fall behind a desk or table and gather dust. In the days of slavery a master would stand in the middle of a room and try to calculate his economic loss. Love is expensive these days - who can really afford it? Some of us are runaways and believe Canada is a woman.
A very productive day. I spent 5AM-6AM reading THE KNOWN WORLD, then the New York Times and Washington Post (on the bus).

I finished 2 Bennington packets and placed them in the mail today. The last one will be completed tonight and mailed tomorrow.

I had a wonderful conversation with a student doing research on the 6th Pan African Congress that was held in Dar Es Salam in 1974. The student is from Tanzania so we had a lot of fun talking about Nyerere. I went and pulled my scrapbook and files from the Congress. Back in 1974 I was a part of the North American delegation. I was a media guy back then doing videotaping. Many of the tapes are now at Howard in serious need of preservation and should be updated so they can be shown on the latest equipment. I gave the student a list of folks (in the DC area) to talk about the 6th PAC. People like Sylvia Hill and Courtland Cox. The 6th PAC is where the American delegation of soul folks became divided into Marxist and Nationalists. At the center of the debate were people like Amiri Baraka. I have a ton of memories not all of them positive about the trip.

Susan Stinson sent me 2 copies of new Dos Passos Review. She is the Managing Editor.
The magazine is published by Longwood University in Virginia. I was selected to serve on their editorial board.

Here is an invitation to anyone who wants to come to my next program. It will be Thursday evening, February 17th, at the Korean Embassy (2370 Mass. Avenue, NW) at 6PM. It will be a book party for FRAGRANCE OF POETRY: KOREAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE.
I wrote the foreword for the book.
The books sells for $13.95 ($10 at the reading).
Information about the Million Man March this year:

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

The E Notes this month are one year old. I plan to download the entire blog this week.I think I had as good a year as the Boston Red Sox. Now like New England I want to repeat or maybe like Ichiro - hit 400 this season. No steroids for me...just heavy reading (and writing).
How we spend our days is of course, how we spend our lives.
- Annie Dillard.
I attended a board meeting at the Writer's Center this morning. Things are looking up as a result of the leadership of the new director. Many changes in the work as well as more support for Poet Lore magazine. Oh...about 7 more packets of submissions were left on my door this morning by co-editor Rick. So that's more reading to do this week. I need to create some space for writing.

After the board meeting in Bethesda, I took the Metro Red Line to Silver Spring. I went to the Border's there and did some work. I completed reading material two HU students gave me last week. I also did a Bennington packet.

I left Borders and went to the Lebanese Taverna Cafe in downtown Silver Spring.
Not a bad place. I like how you can sit and look outside. I ate a Chicken Shawarma with fries and a salad. The sandwich goes for $5.50.

While in the Cafe I bumped into a guy who went to HU and his girl friend. I also ran into the photographer Roland Freeman and his wife. It was good to see them.
I consider Roland to be one of the top photographers in the US. Checkout the work he has done on documenting African American quilts. Roland was part of that crew that worked under Stephen Henderson when there was an Institute for Arts & Humanities at Howard. The Institute did a number of things with Ossie Davis (whose funeral was yesterday in New York). Seeing Roland I reminded him about the radio interview we did back in the 1980s. Hopefully it will be published in a book my friend Julia Galbus is currently working on.

Talking about friends - check THE SHOOTING by Kemp Powers. A new memoir just published by Thunder's Mouth. Kemp attended HU and spent hours sitting in my Center talking about life. The guy is a very talented artist and writer. His book received a good review in today's Book World (Washington Post)

While in Borders I saw the listing for a new CD I might just purchase:
Black Power: Music of Revolution. A two-disc collection of hits from the '60s and '70s. R&B and stuff.
JUICED:WILD TIMES, RAMPANT 'ROIDS, SMASH HITS AND HOW BASEBALL GOT BIG by Jose Canseco goes on sale Monday. Canseco will be on CBS's "60 Minutes" today. Folks are talking about steroids and being very selective about it. Track and baseball have been in the news. What about football? Look at how big players are today. Where is the Boz?

OK. I'll play President. Bush wants to cut 154 programs from the 2006 budget. Here is what I would not cut:

Upward Bound
Safe and Drug Free Schools State Grants
National Writing Project
Dropout Prevention Program
Foreign Language Assistance
Arts in Education
Underground Railroad Program
Literacy Program for Prisoners
Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker Training Program
Reintegration of Youthful Offenders
Rural Firefighter Grants
Housing for Persons with Disabilities
Amtrak for Me.

From Charles Isherwood's appreciation article on Arthure Miller (NY Times/2-12-05):

"His characters have no existence outside the context of their culture, they live only in relation to other people. Indeed it was a fierce belief in man's responsibility to his fellow man - and the self-destruction that followed on his betrayal of that responsibility - that animated Mr. Miller's most significant work."

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Today was one of the few mornings when I slept late. It was 8:05AM when I looked at the clock. I dropped a number of items in the mailbox - bills and a few pieces of correspondence.

I met with Toni E. who is working with Andy Shallal the owner of a new restaurant called Busboys & Poets that will open in the Langston Lofts at 14th & V in May.
We spent the morning brainstorming. I gave her a number of ideas and contacts.
I can't wait for the place to open in a few months.

Yvonne Bynoe came by in the early afternoon. I hadn't seen her in a couple of years.
Yvonne was editor of DOULA: The Journal of Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture. She had been running the Urban Think Tank:
Yvonne is a the type of leader DuBois would clone for his Talented Tenth musical.
I admire her seriousness. Look for her to be quoted more in the future.

Around 5PM, my Buddy Bev came by and we went to Sala Thai on U Street for dinner.

Now it's back to Bennington packets and THE KNOWN WORLD.

Friday, February 11, 2005

You can listen to the James Forman program I moderated at IPS by going to the Institute's website:
The panel consisted of James Early, James Forman Jr, Bernice Reagon and Charlie Cobb.

Teri Ellen Cross is giving a poetry reading at Grace Church in Georgetown on Tuesday, February 15th at 7:30 PM. Teri's work can be found in BUM RUSH THE PAGE.
She is also the producer for The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU 88.5 FM.

HarperCollins Publishers have just announced a joint publishing venture with the Smithsonian. Collins will distribute about 200 books from Smithsonian's list of previously published books.

More book talk. In yesterday's New York Times there was an article about Kathie Coblentz. She is the author of THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY GUIDE TO ORGANIZING A HOME LIBRARY (Running Press, 2003).

"The best way to start, she said, is by determining the number of available "shelf feet" and the "book feet" competing for the space. Next, come up with a classification system of categories and subcategories. You might start with fiction and nonfiction, quick reads versus long, even read and unread; then group the books by genre (children's books, science fiction, romance novels) or subject matter (art history, herb gardening, Volkswagen repair). Now look at every book, separting those worthy of shelf space form those you will set free."

So I must go see Aishwarya Rai in BRIDE & PREJUDICE...I want to jump up in the movie theater and breakout into song and dance too. What a way to live. Can you imagine if during key moments of say the State of the Union Address...members of Congress, etc, broke out into song? What would they sing? Can you see the President of the US dancing? I think if we don't do this we may never recapture our sanity. OK...if you think I'm crazy then BEND IT LIKE BERT.

I spoke to about 25 students at Banneker this morning. Good students. It's always a joy to visit this high school. I talked about being a literary activist and shared a few poems. I also read work by James Tate, Ahmos Zu-Bolton and Yusef Komunyakaa.
Just before I left a young lady came up to me...she was the daughter of an old friend. Gosh- I remember when the child was born.

Another death in the family. Arthur Miller- playwright - 89.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Tina Turner - ALL THE BEST (2 Disc Anthology) Gotta get!
I completed work on one Bennington packet. I should have everything done by Sunday.
I'll also try and finish reading THE KNOWN WORLD this weekend.

Wendy R just called and we changed dinner plans to next week. That means I can do two more Bennington packets this evening.

I have an HU student thesis to read this evening too.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Received Doreen Baingana's new book. She's one writer to watch - girl is Oprah bound.
This book is the winner of the AWP Award for short fiction. Doreen is from Uganda.

I had a nice meal today with Tequina Boston at the District Chophouse & Brewery.
T is Michon's sister. Seeing them together at the Forman program was like SunRa physics. I like how these sisters claim their space and uphold excellence in everything they do.
Oh..get the Nutbrown beer at the Brew.
In March, single game tickets will go on sale for the NATionals, our new baseball team.
I have to purchase tickets for the Seattle series: June 10-12. Ichiro in town. No way will I miss any of those games. Three tickets for me baby.

The next Superbowl is February 5, 2006 in Detroit.
Only Stevie Wonder should be invited to sing. Pass the word around now. I'm still waiting for Wonder's new release.

I talked with folks at the Vermont Studio Center. I will be there February 23rd to March 6, 2006. I plan to have new sweaters by next year.

The film Constantine will be playing soon. This will mean Papa Midnite and his voodoo magic...Be sure to call him Papa. He's the kingpin of supernatural crime.
In the movie he will be played by that wonderful actor Djimoun Hounsou.

Last night my son's team was defeated by DeMatha. So now Gonzaga's record is 11-10.
Things are not looking good. The game was played at Trinity College. Bijan Bayne was in the house. He's a Washington writer and the author of SKY KINGS: BLACK PIONEERS OF PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL (Scholastic Press).
Gonzaga came out strong but couldn't hold their own against one of the top ranked schools in the country. My son is playing with a back that I know must be killing him. I don't know how he can be still out on the court and taking offensive charges.
I need to approach my writing the way my son plays his game. Maybe I would have that second memoir completed by now.

I pulled together all my notes and questions for the James Forman radio program that will be recorded at IPS at Noon today. I think it will be a good show. I have some key discussion points for the panelists: James Early,Bernice Reagon, and James Forman, Jr.

Good to see some Peace progress in the Middle East.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I had a morning meeting with Barbara Williams this morning. She is dean of HU Special Student Services. We talked about ways to improve HU freshman orientation.
Williams had seen me on television talking about HU. I gave Williams a few ideas off the top of my head.

Jim Sitter called while I was in the meeting. He's in MN always up to something literary. A good guy.

On the way back to my office with my jerk chicken lunch from Negril, I ran into Tony Medina on his way to class. I seldom see the guy. He's the poetry man at HU. I hadn't seen him since running into him in the men's room at the Furious Flower Conference. Poets sometime pee together.

Around 6AM I read some more pages of THE KNOWN WORLD. A major focus the next three days will be on getting packets back to my Bennington students.

The funeral Service for Ossie Davis is Saturday, February 12th, Noon, at Riverside Church(490 Riverside Drive) in New York City.

My son has a big game this evening. It's Gonzaga against DeMatha at Trinity College at 7:30PM.

Monday, February 07, 2005

I worked on putting together questions for the James Forman program at IPS. It will be held at 12Noon on Wednesday. I've been looking at all of his books.

Around 11:15 I rushed over to the Library of Congress to have lunch with W. Ralph Eubanks. I love this guy. He's the director of Publications for the LC. He recently published his memoir - EVER IS A LONG TIME: A JOURNEY INTO MISSISSIPPI DARK PAST.
He will be discussing his book this Thursday at 1PM at Chapters Literary Bookstore
(445 11th Street, NW). We had lunch on the 6th floor of the Madison building.
The Library of Congress always seems to have events taking place. Here is a website to their staff publication:

I took the Red Line to Bethesda and The Writer's Center. I sat outside the Center and talked to Gregory Robison. Robison is the new Executive Director. So far he has done a few wonders at the place. The Writer's Carousel (the newsletter) has a new look. Color photos, etc. A new website will be launch in a couple of weeks.

Rick, Jody and I met with Gregory to discuss Poet Lore magazine. We've been looking for ways to improve the journal and market it better.

My friend Monica dropped by the house around 7:30PM. We laughed and talked about numerous sbjects. I needed to relax. Downstairs is a table covered with Bennington packets.

Big celebration for Bob Marley in Ethiopia. He would have been 60 this year.
"I don't want to live in vain."

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Another loss for my son's team. This one was beyond painful. Defeated by about 40pts.
My son had to leave the game in the first quarter after he injured his back on a drive to the basket. :-(
He's on the mend. Sad to see this many loses for a Gonzaga team.

Well let's see how New England plays. I always watch the first 7 passes by Brady.
If he completes them - look for NE to win. If Phillie can blitz or get an early interception that will give them a chance...

Saturday, February 05, 2005

I had a nice lunch and conversation with Dan Moldea around 1PM. We went to another one of his favorite places to eat. Dan can find places to eat in the middle of nowhere. Everyone knows him when he enters a place. Moldea is one of the best investigative reporters in the country. Just give him a Google search.

After lunch we went to the Richard Barnet tribute at the Kay Spiritual Life Center at American University. It was a moving afternoon of music, slides, and remembrances.
I served as the MC for the program. Barnet was the co-founder of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) with Marc Raskin. I have some extra copies of the Barnet tribute booklets that were put together. Send me an email if you want one.

So I'm home now washing clothes... Joyce A. Joyce sent me a copy of her new book: Black Studies as Human Studies. I'm going to read her interviews this evening with Sonia Sanchez, Askia Toure and Amiri Baraka. People forget that these three individuals helped to shape one of the first black studies programs (San Francisco State) in the country.
The boxer Max Schmeling died. He was 99.
Schmeling defeated Joe Louis on June 19, 1936 in the 12th round.
He would lose to Joe Louis on June 22, 1938 in the 1st round.
Michon came by my Center yesterday and dropped off a copy of Roger Wilkins' JEFFERSON'S PILLOW: THE FOUNDING FATHERS AND THE DILEMMA OF BLACK PATRIOTISM. My next television progam will be an inteview with Wilkins.

My comments about James Forman aired yesterday on WAMU radio. A number of people heard it and sent emails. I'll start preparing this weekend for the Forman program I'm moderating next week. I pulled from my Center Forman's book on Sammy Young as well as SELF-DETERMINATION: AN EXAMINATION OF THE QUESTION AND ITS APPLICATION TO AFRICAN-AMERICAN PEOPLE. I'll start looking at this material after the SuperBowl on Sunday. My Bennington packets just started that means back to teaching. is a good robotic site:

Look for robotics to change our society as quickly as the cellphone did.

Well, let me clean my desk and outline my weekend:

- Washing clothes
- Lunch today with Dan Moldea
- MC for the Dick Barnet Memorial
- Reading Bennington packets
- Read a few chapters of Cahokia by D.A.Cross
- 1-2 chapters of Jefferson's Pillow
- Pay a few bills
- Go to my son's game on Sunday
- Watch the SuperBowl
- Take notes and prepare for Forman program
- Prepare for next week meetings.

I also need to prepare for a talk on June Jordan that I will be giving in Minnesota in April.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Another loss for my son's team. While everyone was leaving the gym we sat together in the stands. He is upset with the losing in his senior year. Two of the best teams in the conference are the next opponents. I told my son he needs to step victory can put this team back together again. Another game on Sunday...

Tomorrow is the tribute for Dick Barnet.
OSSIE gone...
A single RUBY left...

Thursday, February 03, 2005

I had an 8AM meeting downtown at Cosi (14th & H Street) with Sarah Anderson. We talked about IPS and her research. She is the author of FIELD GUIDE TO THE GLOBAL ECONOMY. She has written numerous articles on the social and environmental impacts of trade and investment liberalize.

I walked over to 18th and K Street and paid for my new glasses. I'll pick them up look for the Bert.

At Howard a number of people dropped by to see me. I can spend some days just giving students life advice. It's important. I was helping one student who is interested in doing research in archaeology. I had just received some info about a summer internship program in Virginia.

I had a phone conference with Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of THE NATION around 2PM.
Katrina is on the IPS board. I invited her down to DC for a talk in June. I've always admired her...

Near the late afternoon, a reporter from WAMU came by and recorded an interview with me for a program about the late James Forman. I talked about meeting Forman during the late seventies and the influence of his work on my life.

Thanks to Joyce (in my Department) I had a ride home. I was tired from the night before. Before eating dinner I went back out, this time to Takoma Park, Maryland and met with a committee interested in establishing a poet laureate position for their city. I helped to create the DC poet laureate position back in 1984 when Sterling Brown was alive. I recommended Dolores Kendrick for the job in 1999.

I have a breakfast meeting with Sarah Browning tomorrow at 8AM. Michon will drop by at Howard in the afternoon and I'll record the audio intro for the television interview I did with historian Ira Berlin.

My son has a basketball game at 7:30 PM. It's Gonzaga against St. John. Gonzaga won last time. They need to get back on the W track.

Speech is the candle here - see the dark made mobile
now about its tongue, the gathering dark of voices
earlier than ours, and others still earlier, voice
ringed on voice out to the first rough filial hue and cry.
Here, we say, I'm here, turn to me now. Who is it speaking
in the circling namelessness? By whose breath is the flame fanned?
Speech is the candle I hold up to see you
and the night bent down to cup us in its giant hand.

- Alan Shapiro (Covenant, 74)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Jefferson Cafe went well. It was good to discuss church/state issues with about 15 other people on the Takoma campus of Montgomery College. The text we used to get us started was an excerpt from Kenneth Wald's RELIGION AND POLITICS IN THE UNITED STATES.

Be sure to read THE TALK OF THE TOWN in the current issue of THE NEW YORKER. D.H.S. is not doing too well. It seems as if the only thing standing between us and another terrorist attack might be some gent name James Bond. In otherwords we might be safer in Hollywood.
Where do bills come from? I just spent an hour figuring out what to pay.

I need to get my eyes examined today. I'll try to do that before heading to Howard.
I need to see what I'm doing.

This afternoon I'll be on the Takoma Park campus of Montgomery College. I'll be participating in one of their Jefferson Cafes. The discussion topic will be the relationship between church and state.

I then have to meet my friend Deb who is in from Seattle for a conference. That means dinner in Silver Spring tonight.

I received a nice letter from Renee Shea. She writes many of the profiles of women writers for Poets & Writers. One writer whose work she is excited about is Andrea Levy the author of SMALL ISLAND. She is a British author of Jamaican parents. I guess I should check it out.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A new DC newspaper hit the stands today. Get your copy of The Washington Examiner. It's the first generally circulated daily newspaper to be created in the Washington metropolitan area in more than three decades. The publisher is James McDonald.

This morning I met with Daphne at IPS. We had a good meeting. She's one of the fellows I've admired for many years. She is chairing the Communications Committee and doing a good job.
I had lunch with Rachel (she now resides in London) who was back visiting folks at IPS. We went to the Cosi on the corner of 14th & H Street. It's one of the few Cosi's where you have to really look for napkins. They keep them behind the counter.
I saw a couple of people leaving with food on their sleeves. Hmmm.

Defining the Issues a bi-weekly discussion and radio taping with a live audience will take place at IPS on February 9th at Noon. The topic will be "The Life and Times of James Forman."
Panelists will be Bernice Reagon, James Early, James Forman, Jr., and Charles Cobb.
I'll be serving as moderator.
IPS is located at 733 15th Street, NW. (McPherson Square Metro Stop)