Friday, February 22, 2008
Happy Birthday Ishmael Reed
Today, February 22nd, is the birthday of one of our greatest poets & writers, Ishmael Reed. Unquestionably among the most highly original and innovative literary figures in our time, Reed has written in a number of genres with mastery, deft intelligence and an agility of imagination that is unequaled. A profound interpreter of jazz, Reed has been at the helm of the band Conjure for decades now. Their most recent release, Badmouth (available on American Clave), is the among the finest examples of the elusive mixture know as jazz-poetry. A prolific publisher and editor as well, Reed has launched the careers of many now famous writers. Most recently, after many years as a "sideman" in the recording studio, Reed has released a cd under his own leadership, For All We Know. His collected poems is now available and was named a New York Times notable book of the year. For all his many books, if you are unfamiliar with this international genius, the classic Mumbo Jumbo, is a good place to start. Happy Birthday Ishmael, we love you!