Thursday, March 18, 2010

From the Archives

Boston: Askia Toure Steals Show From Marvin X

Marvin X’s East coast book tour took him to Boston this past Saturday. He was greeted by comrades from the Black Arts Movement, poet Askia Toure and playwright Ed Bullins. Prior to the book signing at the African America Masters Art Gallery in Jamaica Plain, the trio did two radio interviews. On Sister Soul’s show, Marvin X astounded the sister with his reading of What If and the essay Language from his latest collection Beyond Religion, Toward Spirituality. She was only the first interviewer to be left breathless after his reading.

Ed Bullins and Askia also addressed the radio audience on the history and nature of the Black Arts Movement, stressing the importance of it in the literary, political and academic radicalization of America, then the trio departed for another interview in Quincey, an affluent suburb of Boston. Marvin X again left the interviewer , sister Victoria, literally breathless and unable to speak. The air was charged with the holy ghost.

Then it was Askia’s turn at the mike. The elder statesman of BAM was not to be out done by his junior comrade from the West coast. Askia spit out one of the most powerful free style poems in the history of BAM. The energy in the room was as if a bomb had been exploded. Everyone was shocked at Askia’s free style, delivered in his well known grandiose manner. Even Askia appeared shocked at himself, as he was a few years ago at Atlanta’s Spelman’s college when he read his poem on Venus And Serena, causing the audience of mostly women to explode with deafening applause.

Later that evening at the African American Gallery, a facility supported by UMASS, professor Tony Van de Meer introduced the poets and they continued the momentum begun that morning, in harmony with the gathering storm outside. The audience included high school and university students, professors, activists and community folks who defied the storm to attend.

Marvin X will appear in Hartford, Conn. on Friday, April 20, 6pm, 265 Oxford Street, hosted by novelist Dana Rondel.

He will appear in Brooklyn at Sista’s Place on Friday, April 27, 6:30pm. On April 28 he will sign books at the Umoja Gallery in Washington DC, 2015 Bunker Hill Road, NE.

Harlem residents can catch him on May 19 at the Malcolm X Writers Panel, along with Amiri Baraka, Kevin Powell and others, Schomburg Library, 3-6pm.

For more information, contact

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