Tuesday, December 26, 2006

James Brown checks out on Christmas Day

Say it loud, Mr Brown.
(A kwansaba for James Brown)

A great tree whose leaves scented hearts

has fallen; it fell on Christmas day.

The great spirit works fresh new grooves,

ageless words gifted life with rapid feet

cheered by the welcome party; Ray Charles,

Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, chanting,

"Say it loud, you're black and great."

- Nnorom Azuonye

Dartford, December 26th 2006

Talented biographers could write a thousand volumes on James Brown, and they couldn't even begin to write anything that would justify a life like his. At 73, he was not too young to die, of course, yet I felt shock and sorrow at his passing. It certainly was not what I expected or wanted to hear as news on Christmas day. The wonderful thing about a life like Mr Brown's is that for as long as it is still possible on earth to play recorded music, sex machines from all over the world will still feel good, many shall still declare it a man's world at Ying Yang debates and every time verbal or clay brick is thrown at a black man and he gets tempted to peel his skin and become a white man, Mr Brown will still roar in his ear, 'Say it loud, I am black and proud.'

Say it loud (I'm black and proud)

Now we demand a chance to do things for ourself

We're tired of beatin' our head against the wall

And workin' for someone else

We're people, we're just like the birds and the bees

We'd rather die on our feet

Than be livin' on our knees

Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud

James Brown
James Brown (1933-2006) will be greatly missed.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Kwansabas for Maya Angelou CFS extended to January '07

Subject: "Kwansabas for Angelou/Troupe": Deadline extended to Jan 1, 2007

TO: All Media, Poets, Writers, Cultural Centers, Libraries, Schools,
English Departments

FROM: Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club/SIUE English
Department/Drumvoices Revue

Contact: 618 650-3991; eredmon@siue.edu; FAX: 618 650-3509

Issue “Call” for “Kwansabas for Maya Angelou & Quincy Troupe"

East Saint Louis/Edwardsville, Illinois--For its Spring 2007 issue, Drumvoices Revue, a multicultural literary journal co-published by the Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is issuing a “call” for “Kwansabas for Maya Angelou and Quincy Troupe.” The original date for submission of the seven-line poem—Nov. 1--has been extended to Jan. 1, 2007.

The kwansaba, a 49-word poetic form invented during the Writers Club’s 1995 workshop season (in East St. Louis), consists of seven lines of seven words each; each word must contain between one and seven letters. Exceptions to the seven-letter rule are proper nouns and some foreign terms. Previous issues of Drumvoices have featured kwansabas for Katherine Dunham (2004), Amiri Baraka and Sonia Sanchez (2005), and Jayne Cortez (2006). Following is an
example of a kwansaba from Drumvoices #13:

Neo Kwansaba in Barakan Verse
(Mali Newman)

Poetree grown from stanzas tongues my ears
Don’t play Dough Ray Mi Vaso Latte
Unless Dada Doowop Dadaism is dead, unless
Trans (it) Blues in C, major or minor
Died by volumes twenty one times, don’t
Play scale up/scale down, while Baraka
Breaks off a piece of his mind.

Kwansaba submissions should be sent by Jan. 1, 2007, to Drumvoices Revue, English Department Box 1431, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1431. Submissions should be in hard copies as well as on Microsoft Word disk. For more information, call 618 650-3991, email eredmon@siue.edu, fax 618 650-3509, or write EBRWC @ P.O. Box 6165, East St. Louis, IL 62202.

Founded in 1986 and named after East St. Louis Poet Laureate Eugene B. Redmond, Writers Club trustees include Amiri Baraka, Angelou, Walter Mosley, Barbara Ann Teer, Troupe, Dr. Lena Weathers, and Avery Brooks. Trustees also serve on the editorial board of Drumvoices Revue. Deceased Trustees include Margaret Walker Alexander (1915-1998), Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000), and Raymond R. Patterson (1929-2001).

The Club is currently celebrating its 20th year of twice-monthly meetings (first/third Tuesday), 6:00-8:00 p.m., in the Library (Building B) of the East St. Louis Higher Education Center, 601 J. R. Thompson Drive. Meetings are held September through May. All writers, from beginners to professionals, are welcome.

Lucky Joe

Following the Premiere of Lucky Joe, it now goes on general release at:

Odeon Surrey Quays, Odeon Lakeside West Thurrock, Odeon Manchester Trafford Centre,
Cineworld Staples Corner, Cineworld Wood Green and Cineworld Wandsworth.

On Fri 8th, Sat 9th, Fri 15th and Sat 16th December 2006
Certificate (12A)
From 10:30pm
Normal cinema prices apply.

24 Hr information: 020 7529 1493

Lucky Joe is written and directed by Obi Emelonye
For more information visit Film Africa

Monday, November 20, 2006

Publication in Sketchbook

This lovely painting of Swans by Helen Bar-Lev graces the cover of November Sketchbook.

Three of my poems; "Reality Show", "Express Goodbyes" and "Igirigi Ututu" are in the November 2006 issue of Sketchbook.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Successor - a new film by Obi Emelonye

The Successor is a new film from the stable of Film Africa Ltd - a young London-based entertainment outfit. Written by Monjaro and Obi Emelonye, The Successor has received limited showing in London cinemas in what the producers call Celebrity Premiere Roadshow - a fancy way of saying 'Meet the cast and crew, and see the movie'. Cinema patrons at the Odeon Swiss Cottage, Odeon/UCI Lee Valley, Odeon Streatham and Odeon/UCI Surrey Quays have had a chance to see the film and have interacted with some of the actors including Stephanie Okereke, Monjaro, Dakore Egbuson and Robert Peters.

Further dates in London will be announced on this blogazette in due course, especially the dates for the Celebrity Premiere Roadshows in the USA and Nigeria slated for Novemeber through December 2006. The DVDs are expected to go on general release from February 2007.

You can also keep abreast with Film Africa productions by visiting www.film-africa.com

The Successor (2006) A Film Africa Production. An Obi Emelonye Film.
Starring: Olu Jacobs, Stephanie Okereke, Dakore Egbuson, Miquel Brown, Monjaro, Robert Peters, Yasmine Maya.
Screenplay: Monjaro, Obi Emelonye
Executive Producer: Nkem Ajoku Producer: Nkem Mkparu Director: Obi Emelonye

Alien in my flat

What if I said, forget about reptiles, forget about oversized eyes, aliens wear black t-shirts and forget to put on their trousers. What would you say?
I surprised this being this morning in my flat and caught him on film. Appreciate.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Sentinel - Eastern Light Literary Afternoon

Sentinel-Eastern Light Literary Afternoon
This event is organised by Sentinel Poetry Movement and Eastern Light EPM International in celebration of Black History Month.

Agenda includes:
-Launch of the poetry collection "Memories of Stone" by Chuma Nwokolo, Jr.,
-Pre-launch of "Letter Home" - poems by Afam Akeh
-Unmasking the future of Sentinel Poetry Quarterly and introduction of the new Editor
-Open Mike - readings of works by black writers. Readers may read their own works or works by legendary black writers.

Venue: Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, London. (Nearest Tubes: Covent Garden or Leicester Square)
Time: 4pm - 6pm
Date: Monday, October 30th, 2006
Entry: FREE

If you would like to read at this event, or require more information please conatact:
Nnorom Azuonye (Event coordinator) E-mail: sentinel@sentinelpoetry.org.uk
Tel: 07812 755751

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