Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Dear Friends,
I hope you’ll enjoy the March blog post “Because Writers Speak Their Minds—2”.

This is the 50th anniversary of the founding of International PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee. The chairs of that committee have been asked to share a brief memory of their years so I am also posting mine here.
I hope you’ll put on your calendars the April 30 PEN/Faulkner reading at 8pm by Isabel Allende at the Washington National Cathedral: “Discovering Stories That Need to Be Told.” I’ll have the pleasure of introducing her.

The cherry blossoms have bloomed in Washington. I hope spring has come gently where you are.




Deadline: Friday, April 23, 2010
Public Talk: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 4-6PM at the Corcoran Gallery of Art Auditorium

Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCAAH) are partnering with Socrates Sculpture Park (SSP, the Park) in Long Island City, NY to create a Public Art
Residency (PAR) Program to instruct and inform artists about practical and conceptual issues related to
the creation of public art. Through this program, artists will learn the fundamentals of developing a
proposal for public art work, identifying sources for materials and funding of projects, and access a
support network for technical assistance and future opportunities related to creating and presenting art
in the public realm.

In this pilot program, one artist who resides in the District of Columbia will be selected to receive a two
month paid residency and exhibition opportunity at Socrates Sculpture Park. The work will be
exhibited under SSP's "Open Space" program from September 12, 2010 to November 2010
(end/deinstallation date to be determined and agreed upon by the artist and SSP). Once the exhibit has
ended, the artist will re-fabricate or re-install, in Washington, DC, the work made through the
residency. The artist will be required to give a public presentation about his or her residency experience
and may also be asked to advise WPA and/or DCCAH on other public art initiatives.
Socrates Sculpture Park was an abandoned landfill and illegal dumpsite until 1986 when a coalition of
artists and community members, under the leadership of sculptor Mark di Suvero, transformed it into an
open studio and exhibition space for artists and a neighborhood park for local residents. The Park is an
innovative public/private partnership that has become an internationally renowned outdoor museum
and artist residency program that also serves as a vital New York City park offering a wide variety of free
public programs.

Located in an industrial neighborhood in Long Island City, Socrates is a waterfront park that overlooks
the Manhattan skyline; the site is an affecting and inspiring place for artists to work and a spectacular
setting for the presentation of public art. To date, Socrates has hosted close to 800 artists and currently
attracts more than 78,000 visitors annually. Socrates Sculpture Park's existence is based on the belief
that reclamation, revitalization and creative expression are essential to the survival, humanity and
improvement of our urban environment.

Socrates Sculpture Park is the only site in the New York Metropolitan area specifically dedicated to
providing artists with opportunities to create and exhibit large-scale sculpture and multi-media
installations in an outdoor environment that invites interaction between artists, artworks and the public.
Socrates is a laboratory where experimentation and innovation expand, reinvent and redefine the tradition of art in public spaces. To learn more about the Park, please visit their website:

This opportunity is open to all artists who live in the District of Columbia. Artists who are enrolled in a
school, college or university at the time of the residency (May - September 2010) are not eligible for the
PAR Program.

For this pilot program, WPA, DCCAH, and SSP will select one artist from an open call to receive financial support in the amount of $4,500 ($2,500 production grant + $2,000 living/travel stipend), a residency in the SSP outdoor studio, and access to facilities, materials, equipment and technical assistance to create a work for exhibition at SSP to coincide with the Park's annual Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition. The selected artist will also be given (by SSP) limited administrative assistance to conduct additional fundraising for his/her project, procure in-kind support, and pursue future commissions, residencies and placement for his/her work. The selected artist will have to make their own living and travel arrangements.

Artists interested in this opportunity are asked to submit a proposal for an artwork to be created and
exhibited at SSP. Artists applying for this opportunity are strongly encouraged to visit SSP and/or
attend the public talk by SSP Executive Director Alyson Baker at the Corcoran Gallery of Art Auditorium on April 6, 2010 from 4-6pm before submitting their application. The auditorium is located
at 500 Seventeenth Street NW, Washington, DC.

Applicants must take into account the site's rugged, urban outdoor environment and be aware that
sculptures installed in the Park must meet safety requirements and be able to withstand the effects of
weather and public use. Visiting the site will give applicants a clearer idea of the factors that affect
installations at the Park and an overview of the facilities that the Park has to offer, including the tools
and equipment available in the studio and the materials and resources available in Long Island City.

Interest applicants can visit the SSP website, attend the public talk by Alyson Baker on April 6, or contact WPA for images of past Open Space projects at the Park.

The 2010 WPA Public Art Residency Program is funded in part bythe DC Commision on the Arts & Humanities DC Creates! Public Art Program and made possible with assistance from Socrates Sculpture Park.

WPA is supported by its members, Board of Trustees, invaluable volunteers, and by generous contributions from numerous individuals and the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, William C. Paley Foundation, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Gallery O/H, Haleh Design, MOI Inc., Allied Telecom Group LLC, Arent Fox LLP, Arnold and Porter LLP, Conrad and Ludmila Cafritz, Akridge, American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Hickok Cole Architects, TTR Sotheby's International Realty, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Michael-Cleary, Vivo Design, The Washington Post Company, Yvette Kraft, Foundation, Conner Contemporary Art, and PLAZA Artist Materials.

Click here to join the wpa mailing list
Support wpa today
David Mills: 1961-2010

More sad news. My friend Michon informed me that the writer David Mills is dead. Another shock - geez.
We keep falling...

David Mills died of a brain aneurysm while on the set of "Treme" in New Orleans. He was a writer on the new HBO series as well as "The Wire," "The Corner" (won an Emmy), "Homicide: Life on the Streets," and his own NBC series "Kingpin."

More from Michon:
Howard University Showcases the streets that used to be by Carol Beane and Renee Stout

Come experience this unique work of art--the streets that used to be--which is a collaboration of Carol Beane, Poet and Howard University Associate Professor of Modern Languages, and Renee Stout, Visual Artist. The artists are the 2009 Recipients of the National Museum of Women in the Arts Book Arts Award. Ms. Beane and Ms. Stout will discuss how the book was created, conceptually. The images will be displayed, and some of the poetry will be read.


2:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.

This event is sponsored by the Department of World Languages and Culture and the Friends of the Library of Howard University Libraries.

For more information about the collaboration of these two artists and their book, the streets that used to be, please visit the following website:

For more information about Carol Beane, please visit the following websites:

For more information about Renee Stout, please visit the following websites:

 Just when you thought you could duck from health-care comments - now here comes offshore drilling.
Obama turns around and does the Palin Funky Butt - Drill, baby, Drill.
Look for an uproar to come from the Left and the Green people. The Obama people will probably talk about how the new offshore drilling is going to mean more jobs for folks and will help economic development in some states. Who knows if this is a payoff for health-care?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

FILM INVITATION:  Not just for me but for you too.

Good afternoon Professor Miller :

The US Coast Guard's Office of Governmental and Public Affairs would like to
personally invite you and Howard University to the showing of the documentary
film Rescue Men, The Story of the Pea Island Life Savers, premiering at the Navy
Memorial here, in Washington D.C on April 13, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

The movie, which is produced and directed by Los Angeles based DreamQuest
Productions, has been in the works for several years and tells the story of the
Pea Island Life-Saving Station, the first life-saving station in the country to
have an all African American crew, and the first in the nation to have an
African American man, Richard Etheridge, as commanding officer.

The film is scheduled to play at 7:00 p.m. and the director and producer of the
film, Mr. Allen Smith, will be present and available to answer questions at the
end of the movie. The goal is to capture a wide audience and this showing is
open to the general public.

We would be thrilled if you know of persons that would be interested in
attending the event.

You can view the trailer for Rescue Men at at
The film is scheduled to play on the History Channel and be shown at national
and international film festivals.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, thank you kindly.



Nadine Santiago
U.S Coast Guard Community Relations
2100 2nd ST SW Stop 7362
Washington, DC 20593-7362
(O) 202-372-4646
Jazz Note:

When Armstrong lifted his trumpet to his lips or began to sing, the demeaning comic persona, that shield against indignity, gave way to a wide, vibrant river of sound that lent a voice to millions of people, in America and beyond, who had been consigned to silence. Testifying, in every performance, to the depths of his musical idiom, Armstrong defied the prejudices of both classical musicians and, even more, jazz critics who believed that they could contain his work within their crude notions of stylistic progress, authenticity or moral rectitude.

       - David Schiff, The Nation, March 1, 2010.

President Obama will throw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday. President Taft started this opening day ceremony back on April 14, 1910.

Monday, March 29, 2010


      (for Lucille and Ai)

They say death comes in threes.
You count two poets down in just a few weeks.
Maybe you're the third.

The person caught looking
at the third strike that kills-.
the rally and the reading.

Maybe another poet hears about your death
and finally reads your poems.
Maybe they're thinking their number is up too.

Maybe next time they might be the first to go.

   - E. Ethelbert Miller


University of Pittsburgh Presents:
Love and Strange Horses
By Nathalie Handal

Thursday April 15, 2010
7:00-10:00pm (Readings & Performances by Special Guests)
Gallery Bar
120 Orchard Street, NYC

WATCH Book Trailer, Love and Strange Horses:


Come visit the Poet Lore table at the Book fair. Talk with the editors. Check schedule for the Poet Lore reading.

I will be participating in the tribute to novelist Charles Johnson on April 10th at 1:30 PM.
Centennial Ballroom - Hyatt Regency Denver Hotel.  

If you need to find me check the Denver City Marriott. Travel safe.

The highest goal a man can achieve is amazement.

On Behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal

Attention All Writers:

In celebrating Mumia's birthdate (April 24, 1954), the New York Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and the National Writers Union (NWU/New York Chapter) are organizing Writers for Mumia, an afternoon of readings and testimonials taking place Saturday, April 24, at St. Mary's Church, 512 West 126 Street, between Old Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, in Harlem.

Interested writers should immediately contact Louis Reyes Rivera via email at ( or Susan E. Davis [] in order to be included in the program, scheduled from 2 to 6 p.m. at St. Mary's Church.

The event immediately precedes a rally scheduled for Monday, April 26, in front of the Justice Department's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Initiated in 1999 as a project of the International Action Center, Writers for Mumia is a way for authors to show their support for the imprisoned journalist and honorary member of the NWU. It has since become an outpouring by writers weighing in against the death penalty and on behalf of Mumia's right to a new trial. In addition to cultural presentations, the April 24th program includes Pam Africa of the International Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Suzanne Ross of the New York Coalition to Free Mumia.
Quick Update:

Mumia Abu-Jamal now faces a most critical moment in his decades-long struggle to be granted a new trial based on solid, incontrovertible evidence of prosecutorial misconduct during the criminal court trial that led to his conviction on charges of killing a Philadelphia police officer.

This past January, the Supreme Court overturned the Third Circuit Court of Appeals' 2008 decision to set aside the death penalty based on improper instructions given to the jurors. Instead, the high court has instructed the circuit court to "reconsider" its earlier decision, particularly reinstitution of the death penalty. What the Supreme Court refused to weigh in on was the defense's arguments calling for a new trial and drawing attention to prosecutorial misconduct, including the deliberate exclusion of eligible Black jurors.

Look for the media to continue to "milk" the issue of health-care for a few more days. For most folks the deal is over and done. Next up to bat is Tiger Woods. Everyone will have an opinion on how he will play and what he will say. Nothing like sex addiction and media addiction. It's like a first date with a bra found across the room. How did that happen?

I'm waiting for the next issue that is going to "define" the Obama Administration. Another game of Tar Baby? Don't you feel as if America is stuck in the beginning of one of those Sidney Poitier movies? I'm waiting for Obama to just look into the camera and say - "They call me Mr. President!"

So what's it's going to be. Immigration?  Another appointment to the Supreme Court?  Nasty news-like a natural disaster. Something that Obama critics can say was predicted in the last chapter of the bible?
This is year 2 and I want to "race" ahead and see what November is going to bring. How ugly will things get in America? Crazy as a town meeting?  What Democratic candidates might be threaten with harm? What community will be singing the Baghdad Blues?  Will we be divided as a nation and looking at another Civil War?  Notice how the guy in the pick-up truck is talking about States Rights.

Maybe this is where the Coloreds whistle Dixie on the way out.  Oh, Obama - help me like you're Joe Louis. Knock some sense into our nation. Too many of us want to run and hide. I don't want to lose another round or election.
I thought I heard John McCain say...
Is that Sarah Palin doing the Funky Butt?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

No More Torture? No More Pain?

24 - the television show will end this year after 8 years. After May 24th - no more hours.
Look for Jack Bauer to move to the big screen.
More from Dominique Browning:

One adventure is over; it is time for another. I have a different kind of work to do now. I am growing into a new season. At the water's edge, watching the tiny, teeming life of that mysterious place between high and low tides, the intertidal zone, I begin to accept the relentless flux that is the condition of these days. I am not old and not young; not bethrothed and not alone; not broken and yet not quite whole; thinking back, looking forward. But present. These are my intertidal years.

   - The New York Times Magazine/ March 28, 2010
Dominique Browning has a very good article in The New York Times Magazine  today. See - " How I was laid off - and learned to love life again. Browning writes:

Without work, who was I?  I do not mean that my title defined me. What did define me was the simple act of working. The loss of my job triggered a cascade of self-doubt and depression. I felt like a failure.
Quote of the Day:

Prisons are sacred places. There our society claims control over the lives of men and women; there we assume the roles of gods.

     - Daniel Bergner, reviewing TEXAS TOUGH by Robert Perkinson, New York Times Book Review,
        Sunday, March 28, 2010

Two cardinals
enter my backyard

flying over the 
first flowers,

laughing at the
possibility of bloom.

  - E. Ethelbert Miller

Office of University Communications
Kerry-Ann Hamilton
Media Relations Manager
Tiffany Brown
Communicate Associate

Howard University Hosts Symposium honoring the Legacy of Dr. John Hope Franklin

WASHINGTON (March 11, 2010) - Howard University will host a two-day symposium from April 8-10, to honor Dr. John Hope Franklin, a distinguished faculty member who made many significant contributions to African American history, as well as civil and human rights.

The program will include keynote addresses by Harvard scholars Evelyn Brooks-Higginbotham, Ph.D. and Professor Charles Ogletree; Mary Frances Berry, Ph,D., University of Pennsylvania; and Ronald E. Walters, Ph.D., professor emeritus at University of Maryland-College Park. A series of panel discussions will highlight Dr. Franklin’s pioneering efforts in archives and Black historical collections, and his impact on international interpretations of American history. Visit the conference Web site for more details.

Dr. Franklin joined the Howard University faculty in 1947. During his tenure as a professor he became a member of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund team, which developed the sociological case for Brown v. Board of Education that ended the legal segregation of Black and White children in public schools. He was best known for his prolific writing, including: From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans; The Militant South, 1800-1860 (1956); The Emancipation Proclamation (1963); Racial Equality in America (1976); Race and History: Selected Essays,1938-1988 (1990); The Color Line: Legacy for the 21st Century (1993). He died in March 2009 from congestive heart failure.
Founded in 1867, students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, 21 Fulbright Scholars and 10 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D.s than any other university in the world. For more information about Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at
Sometimes it's amazing how some names just disappear from the media. Remember Moktada al-Sadr?

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Senator Harry Reid lives in Searchlight, Nevada.
The population there is an estimated 1000 people.
At the recent Sarah Palin rally in Searchlight, 7000 people attended.
Are these 7000 people going to vote Reid out of office? Not if they can't vote in Nevada.
Do they live in Searchlight? No. Nothing but another media event that will probably have no impact on November's election. Control the camera and you control the show. Smile if you can't do the math.
I saw the movie GREEN ZONE this afternoon. It's an excellent film. Why did we ever invade Iraq?  I have no idea how anyone can leave the movie theater without shaking their heads. We are all guilty. People in the media should look in the mirror everyday. GREEN ZONE gets all the stars that are left in the sky. Too bad the night comes after the terrible days of war.

       - Confucius

Let not the fruit of action be your motive to action. Your business is with action alone, not with the fruit of action.

    - The Bhagavad Gita

A nice place to eat in Detroit is the Detroit Fish Market. It's located at 1435 Randolph Street.
313-963-3003. They are having an Easter Sunday Gospel Brunch on April 4, 2010. 11AM-4:30 PM.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Jerry W. Ward, Jr., Professor of English at Dillard University, will guest-edit the Fall 2011 issue of Valley Voices: A Literary Review on the African American literary tradition and the idea of a canon. Articles will focus on the works of writers who have not been frequently discussed.
Ward invites original articles ranging from 15 to 20 pages, using MLA documentation, on such writers as Sandra Jackson-Opoku, Eugene B. Redmond, Tom Dent,  Honorée  Fannone  Jeffers, Sarah Webster Fabio,  Thulani  Davis,  John A. Williams, Wanda Coleman, Henry DumasE Ethelbert Miller,  Arthenia  Bates Millican, Olympia Vernon,  Kalamu ya Salaam, Angela Jackson,  Joyce Carol Thomas,  Haki Madhubuti, Carl Hancock Rux,  Mildred Taylor, Askia M. Toure, and others. 
Potential contributors should email an abstract  of  the article to  Ward prior to submission. Send submissions  and a biographical note of no more than 250 words as PDF or Microsoft Word 2007 files to by February 1, 2011.

Back from Detroit:
This was a week of seeing old friends (and making new ones) living in the Motor City. It was so wonderful to be around, Melba Joyce Boyd, Vievee Francis - and that picture taking genius - Ricardo Thomas. Melba gave me information about ROSES AND REVOLUTIONS: THE SELECTED WRITINGS OF DUDLEY RANDALL. It's a book she edited for Wayne State University Press ( Vievee gave me a copy of her book of poetry - BLUE-TAIL FLY.
Let's walk!

Lend your name to this growing movement. Sign up now at

Building More Momentum in Washington: A Discussion with Barbara Ehrenreich and Friends

Barbara Ehrenreich
"When you enter the low-wage workplace — and many of the medium-wage workplaces as well — you check your civil liberties at the door, leave America and all it supposedly stands for behind, and learn to zip your lips for the duration of the shift."

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America
Barbara Ehrenreich
Institute for Policy Studies Trustee

Saul Landau

"Landau has opened many windows for the rest of us: parts of the world, where we are not usually allowed to know about except to be told how wretched they are."

Gore Vidal on
Saul Landau
Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies
The IPS in Los Angeles 2010 Host Committee cordially invites you to join them to build connections with, and support for, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

IPS is the most admired and effective progressive think tank in the country.  Members of Congress, White House insiders, and grassroots groups routinely solicit their solutions to intractable problems.

Featured Guests:
IPS Board member and LA Times Book Prize winner Barbara Ehrenreich
Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and IPS Fellow Saul Landau
IPS Director John Cavanagh
The 2010 Carol Jean and Edward F. Newman Fellow, Tope Folarin
Barbara, Saul, John, and Tope will lead a discussion on building more momentum in Washington for progress toward a just society.
  • Ending the Afghan war
  • Creating a fair tax system
  • Fixing the tattered social safety net
  • Shutting down Wall Street speculation, and
  • Ensuring climate justice at home and globally
I.F Stone once called IPS "the think tank for the rest of us." By the end of this event, you will know why this community of organizers and scholars is your voice in Washington, DC.
RSVP here ( or contact Sena (202-787-5277) at the Institute for Policy Studies for more information.

Can't join us? Show your support for progressive values and IPS with a tax-deductible donation.

IPS in Los Angeles 2010 Host Committee

Susan Adelman
Arianna Huffington
Aris Anagnos
Marney & Larry Janss
Elaine Attias
Lyn & Norman Lear
Jackie & Clarence Avant
Sara Nichols
Jodie Evans & Max Palevsky
Betty & Stanley Sheinbaum
Robert Greenwald
Corky Hale Stoller
Elyse & Stanley Grinstein
Haskell Wexler

SNCC 50th Anniversary Conference

POETRY NEWS FROM POET LORE                                                                             

For Immediate Release

Kyle Semmel 
4508 Walsh Street 
Bethesda, MD 20815 

Poet Lore, the Nation’s Oldest Continuously Published Poetry Journal, Joins Forces with Busboys & Poets During National Poetry Month

BETHESDA, MD (March 25, 2010)—Poet Lore, the nation’s oldest continuously published poetry journal, is pleased to announce that copies of its latest issue will be distributed by Busboys & Poets at its Washington, DC locations in April to celebrate National Poetry Month.

Poet Lore’s co-editors E. Ethelbert Miller and Jody Bolz see this partnership “as a wonderful opportunity to promote poetry, increase subscriptions, and perhaps reach people who are hungry for something different.”

Just as Langston Hughes hungered for something different when, in November, 1924 he saw Vachel Lindsay and his wife sitting in the dining room of the Wardman Park Hotel. He placed a few poems on Lindsay’s table. Soon America would discover the "Busboy Poet."

Since its founding five years ago, Busboys & Poets has become one of the hottest and best places for poets, whether new or established, to recite their work in the area, and Miller and Bolz hope patrons “will take the magazine with them after they finish eating—in other words, tipping themselves with poetry.”

About Poet Lore:
Established in 1889, Poet Lore is the oldest continuously published poetry magazine in the United States. Under the stewardship of its present publisher, The Writer's Center, Poet Lore publishes semi-annual installments of the finest contemporary poetry both by established writers and by those breaking into print. Poet Lore also prints reviews of new poetry books and books about poetry and poets. Inviting all types of poetry, the editors of Poet Lore look for a high level of craftsmanship and imaginative use of language and image. Poet Lore is edited by Jody Bolz and E. Ethelbert Miller. Jean Nordhaus is the Review Editor. Caitlin Hill is the Managing Editor. Contributing editors are Cornelius Eady, Tony Hoagland, David Lehman, Alberto Rios, Jane Shore, David Wagoner, and Michele Wolf.

About The Writer’s Center:
The Writer's Center cultivates the creation, publication, presentation, and dissemination of literary work.  We are an independent literary organization with a global reach, rooted in a dynamic community of writers. As one of the premier centers of our kind in the country, we believe the craft of writing is open to people of all backgrounds and ages.  Writing is interdisciplinary and unique among the arts for its ability to touch on all aspects of the human experience.  It enriches our lives and opens doors to knowledge and understanding. The Writer's Center is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible. A copy of our current financial statement is available upon request. Contact the Writer's Center at 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815. Documents and information submitted to the State of Maryland under the Maryland Charitable Solicitations Act are available from the Office of the Secretary of State for the cost of copying and postage. The Writer's Center is supported in part by The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Essay about my work in Yemini-American Net:

One in five DC residents live at or below the poverty line. This fact can be found in a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today I spoke to the faculty at Wayne State Law School. A fun session. I commented on key texts that have influenced my life. I made reference to Ai's CRUELTY, a Human Rights speech by Carolyn Forche, McLuhan's THE MEDIUM IS THE MASSAGE, and James Baldwin's THE PRICE OF THE TICKET.
Yesterday Peter Hammer who directs the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School gave me a wonderful gift. It's a bag used by Buddhist monks in Cambodia.What a useful reminder to stay on the Path.Now I will be able to carry just my basics.No need to load myself down with books and items I really don't need to be carrying. One's life moves forward and at times there are sweet bursts of light.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm posting E-Notes with my BlackBerry until Friday. Excuse spelling and other errors. I'm having problems editing the entries.
I can't believe Ai is gone. We corresponded frequently by E-mail. She was always inviting me to Oklahoma for a visit. A few months ago I came across a stack of letters she had written to my wife. They were friends too.

I first met Ai (in the early 1970s) on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park. Ai was another one of those writers that Ahmos Zu-Bolton introduced me to. We published her work in HooDoo magazine. Ai's book CRUELTY became one of my favorite collection of poems.I tried to write like her for a spell- didn't everyone.

I remember waiting in line by the White House with her. That was the day Carter invited all the poets in.

And yes -the two of us in a lobby of a hotel in Utah -and Ai saying very loudly -"Ai's gettin out of here!"

How can this woman be gone? I just sent her another email...

Teach me another word for love. Speak Japanese to me.

Vocabulary building once again. New words and terms in the news: sexual addiction and States Rights. What year is it?

Does health-care come with free condoms? Is Dixie coming back? Hold the chains- I want to be free.
The Aftermath:

It's amazing how the Republicans refuse to accept defeat.When you're dead, lie down. Don't buy into the belief that the health-care issue is going to hurt Democrats in November. Let's talk about what the media isn't telling you. What if Democrats win big in November? This could usher in a Congress that could open the door to what could be called the Second Reconstruction.This is the real fear on the Right.This is what they had hoped to do the last few years. Just look at what Republicans did to the Supreme Court.

By the time late summer hits there will be other issues Americans will go crazy about.

But let's look at what could make Democrats look good by election day:

A drop in unemployment, the capture or death of Bin Ladin,a Middle East settlement,the Chicago Cubs going to the World Series, a good coordinated response to a natural disaster within the US, a major sex scandal involving a conservative talk show host or Republican candidate for high office.These are just a few things that can be catnip for the media. In a few weeks listen to them "purr" about the return of Tiger Woods.

The Democrats should follow the Tiger Playbook- JUST WIN BABY!
The Inn on Ferry Street consists of four mansions and two Carriage Houses. Victorian architecture.I'm close to the Detroit Institute of the Arts.
I will try and find time to walk around.

I am the Izumi Family Fund Scholar in Residence at Wayne State University Law School.

I will be making a presentation at the law school auditorium this afternoon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I just did the Craig Fahle radio show on WDET.My interview will air tomorrow morning. I'm staying in the nice Inn on Ferry Street.Detroit is still here...
Jane Hirshfield on Georgia O'Keefe
Thursday, 6:30 pm; Tickets: $15.

At The Phillips Collection

One can get good falafel and fries at:

Amsterdam Falafelshop
2425 18th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

It's a small place but you lick your fingers.
40th Anniversary of EARTH DAY: April 24, 2010.

Will you be here?

Poets House - Poetry Walk - June 14th.
Poetry Walk Across The Brooklyn Bridge

Tickets begin at $250
Reservations required.
All proceeds benefit Poets House

Join Tin Chang, Galway Kinnell, Thomas Lux, special guest Laurie Anderson and others.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Today I sent another box of poetry books to Lauren S. Muller for the June Jordan School for Equity ( in San Francisco.

I also sent two boxes of correspondence, tapes, flyers, and programs to the Gelman Library at George Washington University. That's where my personal archive is housed; some items are at the University of Minnesota and Emory and Henry in Emory, Virginia. I'm still in the middle of moving my literary files over to GW. I should have everything completed before June. I discarded many files that I felt contained information one could obtain by using the Internet.

Dear Friends,

I am writing to update you about some events related to Persistent Voices.  These are all still East Coast events, David and myself being Easterners, but there are some West Coast possibilities that may come to fruition over the coming months, and I’ll let you know about those as they develop.  For now:
Thursday, March 25th:  American University, Washington D.C.  7 p.m. in the Batelle-Tompkins Atrium (  I’ll be doing a solo-reading of poems from Persistent Voices and discussing the effect of AIDS on culture, plus Q&A.

Saturday, March 27th:  Rainbow Book Fair, New York City.  The second annual GLBT bookfair in New York, held at the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies (CLAGS) at CUNY (365 5th Avenue) (  There will be 6 readings from Persistent Voices at the Poetry Salon, approximately on the hour from 12 noon to 5 p.m.  Participating poets so far include Walter Holland, Saeed Jones, and Richard Tayson.

Wednesday, March 31st:  Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.  7 p.m. in Goldwin Smith Hall, Room 142 (  I’ll be doing a solo-reading from Persistent Voices with Q&A to follow.

Wednesday, April 7th:  Sumner School, Washington D.C. (1201 17th St. NW), in the Lecture Hall.  Poets Richard McCann, Kim Roberts, and Bernard Welt will join me in reading poems from Persistent Voices, with special guests Michelle Parkerson (director, A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde) and Wayson Jones (Essex Hemphill’s long-time performance partner) reading Essex’s work and presenting a choral performance of Essex’s rarely-heard “Dear Muthafuckin Dreams.”

When details have been confirmed regarding readings in Denver (at the AWP Conference) and Washington (at the National Academy of Sciences), I’ll send those along to you, as well.

Please join us at any of these readings, and if you have friends who would be interested, please forward this e-mail or otherwise let them know!  Copies of the book will be available at each event.

All best wishes, and many continued thanks,


Philip Clark
Arlington, VA.

I'm heading to Detroit...

The Great Thing About the Health Care Law That Has Passed? It Will Save Republican Lives, Too (An Open Letter to Republicans from Michael Moore)
Monday, March 22nd, 2010

To My Fellow Citizens, the Republicans:

Thanks to last night's vote, that child of yours who has had asthma since birth will now be covered after suffering for her first nine years as an American child with a pre-existing condition.

Thanks to last night's vote, that 23-year-old of yours who will be hit one day by a drunk driver and spend six months recovering in the hospital will now not go bankrupt because you will be able to keep him on your insurance policy.

Thanks to last night's vote, after your cancer returns for the third time -- racking up another $200,000 in costs to keep you alive -- your insurance company will have to commit a criminal act if they even think of dropping you from their rolls.

Yes, my Republican friends, even though you have opposed this health care bill, we've made sure it is going to cover you, too, in your time of need. I know you're upset right now. I know you probably think that if you did get wiped out by an illness, or thrown out of your home because of a medical bankruptcy, that you would somehow pull yourself up by your bootstraps and survive. I know that's a comforting story to tell yourself, and if John Wayne were still alive I'm sure he could make that into a movie for you.
But the reality is that these health insurance companies have only one mission: To take as much money from you as they can -- and then work like demons to deny you whatever coverage and help they can should you get sick.

So, when you find yourself suddenly broadsided by a life-threatening illness someday, perhaps you'll thank those pinko-socialist, Canadian-loving Democrats and independents for what they did Sunday evening.

If it's any consolation, the thieves who run the health insurance companies will still get to deny coverage to adults with pre-existing conditions for the next four years. They'll also get to cap an individual's annual health care reimbursements for the next four years. And if they break the pre-existing ban that was passed last night, they'll only be fined $100 a day! And, the best part? The law will require all citizens who aren't poor or old to write a check to a private insurance company. It's truly a banner day for these corporations.

So don't feel too bad. We're a long way from universal health care. Over 15 million Americans will still be uncovered -- and that means about 15,000 will still lose their lives each year because they won't be able to afford to see a doctor or get an operation. But another 30,000 will live. I hope that's ok with you.
If you don't mind, we're now going to get busy trying to improve upon this bill so that all Americans are covered and so the grubby health insurance companies will be put out of business -- because when it comes to helping the sick, no one should ever be allowed to ask the question, "How much money can we save by making this poor bastard suffer?"

Please, my Republican friends, if you can, take a quiet moment away from your AM radio and cable news network this morning and be happy for your country. We're doing better. And we're doing it for you, too.

Michael Moore
P.S. I'll have more to say on this tonight, live on CNN, at 9pm ET. I'll be talking with Larry King about the health care bill and where we go from here, considering we still don't have universal health care.
P.P.S. In case you missed these photos in yesterday's NY Times Sunday Magazine... That's the results of seven years of madness. The Iraq War began its 8th year this weekend. How can we remove more of those responsible for this tragedy in November?
GALLERY TALK | March 27, 2010 @ 3:00 pm
Elizabeth Catlett and the Mexican Visual Arts Tradition
by Professor Emeritus David Driskell (University of Maryland)

Art historian and educator David Driskell, professor emeritus, University of Maryland, offers a talk on the internationally known artist and former Washingtonian Elizabeth Catlett and her contribution to Mexican art and aesthetic values followed by a visit to the exhibition Elizabeth Catlett in Mexico & Shouts from the Archive: Political Prints from the Taller de Gráfica Popular.

Location: Mexican Cultural Institute
2829 16th Street, NW | Washington, D.C.
Blocks from Columbia Heights Metro Station | Free entrance

This program is presented in collaboration with the  Anacostia Community Museum |901 Fort Place SE | Washington DC 20020