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Home » The Writing Life (TV Show) » Sekou Sundiata and Ed Hirsch ‘The Writing Life’ Episodes Now Available On YouTube

Sekou Sundiata and Ed Hirsch ‘The Writing Life’ Episodes Now Available On YouTube

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  • Blackbird Poetry Festival April 25, 2019 Howard Community College, Columbia, MD 21044, USA Mississippi’s Poet Laureate Beth Ann Fennelly headlines the eleventh annual Blackbird Poetry Festival for HoCoPoLitSo. The festival, set for April 25, 2019, on the campus of Howard Community College, is a day devoted to verse, with workshops, book sales, readings, and patrols by the Poetry Police. The Sunbird poetry reading, featuring Ms. Fennelly, as well…
  • Film/Author Presentation of Girl Rising With Aminatta Forna June 30, 2019 at 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm Join in saluting the founding of the Columbia Film Society and HoCoPoLitSo with an afternoon that celebrates the education of girls, the beauty of story, and the power of collective action. This joint anniversary event features a talk by one of the writers of Girl Rising and a showing of the documentary film that inspired…

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  • CityLit Festival - Baltimore April 27, 2019 at 9:00 am – 5:30 pm 11 W. Mt. Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21201 Each April, CityLit Project presents its signature event: CityLit Festival. The day-long celebration of literature includes concurrent programming throughout our partner's venue so that there is something literally for everyone.
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We’ve recently added two episodes of The Writing Life, one featuring Sekou Sundiata and the other Edward Hirsch, to the growing HoCoPoLitSo YouTube channel.

Sekou Sundiata

In this edition of HoCoPoLitSo’s “The Writing Life”, poet and cultural historian E. Ethelbert Miller talks with poet and jazz musician Sekou Sundiata. Both men grew up in East Harlem housing projects, and Sundiata says the many cultures and voices of that neighborhood are heard in his poetry. The “citizen poet,” as Sundiata calls himself, arose in the 1960s and 1970s, when he started writing activist poetry, poetry that appeals democratically to many. Sundiata explains that he and his band arrange the music and the poetry he authors in a synergistic way. “Poetry is part of the music itself,” Sundiata says. The music and rhythms of the black church experience, as well as blues, affect his work, he says. “For me, the blues is a philosophical stance.” His poetic influences include Gil Scott Heron, Amiri Baraka and Linton Kwesi Johnson, whose “Naked History” album is poetry and music people can live with, a goal Sundiata looks to attain with his own work.

Ed Hirsch

On this edition of HoCoPoLitSo’s “The Writing Life,” poet Michael Collier and mid-westerner Ed Hirsch huddle in shirt sleeves to talk poetry. Not only American, but international poets he read in translation, says Hirsch, enable him to discover his vocation. From his fifth book of poems On Love, they consider “The Poet at Seven,” “Colette,” and the moving “Ocean of Grass.” Recorded in 2000, the show features the pair discussing Hirsch’s seminal nonfiction book, How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry.


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