THE FIGHTER AND THE WRITER: LITQUAKE'S BARBARY COAST AWARD TO ISHMAEL REED
Poet, publisher, novelist, dramatist, and more, Ishmael Reed is one of the most prolific and thought-provoking authors at work in America today. From his first novel "The Free-Lance Pallbearers" (1967) to his latest, "Juice!" (2011), and through poetry, plays, essays, and anthologies, the iconoclastic trailblazer has pointedly highlighted our nation's political and cultural repression. Reed has been instrumental in exposing the work of new authors through his online literary magazine Konch and the Ishmael Reed Publishing Company. He is also a jazz pianist and lyricist and has worked with such talented musicians as Taj Mahal, Allen Toussaint, Cassandra Wilson, and David Murray. Join us for an evening of music, poetry, tributes, and drama in honor of Reed and his long-standing contributions to the Bay Area literary scene. Featuring emcee W. Kamau Bell, music from Broun Fellinis, and live dramatic performances directed by Carla Blank.
Wajahat Ali is a playwright, journalist, blogger, and attorney-at-law. His first play, The Domestic Crusaders, is the first major play about Muslim-Americans and was published by McSweeney's. He is currently working on an HBO pilot with Dave Eggers.
Comedian W. Kamau Bell has been praised as "one of our nation's most adept racial commentators with a blistering wit." His album Face Full of Flour was named one of the ten Best Comedy Albums of 2010 by iTunes. wkamaubell.com
Carla Blank is a writer, editor, teacher, director, dramaturge, and choreographer. She is author of "Rediscovering America," and co-editor with Ishmael Reed of "Pow-Wow: Charting the Fault Lines in the American ExperienceShort Fiction From Then to Now."
Clark Blaise is author of ten story collections (most recently "The Meagre Tarmac," 2011), three novels, and seven works of nonfiction including "Days and Nights in Calcutta" and "Time Lord," the biography of Sir Sandford Fleming, inventor of standard time.
Broun Fellinis are a Bay Area afro-futurist jazz trio comprised of percussionist Kevin Carnes, bassist Kirk Peterson, and woodwind player David Boyce. The Fellinis have performed with The Roots, Gil Scott-Heron, Zakir Hussain, George Clinton, and Ravi Coltrane. brounfellinis.com
Ianthe Brautigan Swensen was born in San Francisco. She lives and teaches in the wine country with her husband, Paul. Her memoir "You Can't Catch Death" has been optioned by a major motion picture company.
Juan Felipe Herrera, in SF since the '50s, Mission District bard, performanza poet, Guggenheim and National Book Award in poetry, community and open borders for all, om mani padme hum, Tomás Rivera endowed chair at UC Riverside.
Yuri Kageyama is a poet and writer whose latest book is "The New and Selected Yuri: Writing from Peeling till Now" (2011, Ishmael Reed Publishing). She has translated works by Kenzaburo Oe and Hiromi Ito and others. She lives in Tokyo. yurikageyama.com
Alejandro Murguía is a two-time winner of the American Book Award, most recently for "This War Called Love: Nine Stories." He was the first director of the Mission Cultural Center and is professor of Raza Studies at SFSU.
Claire Ortalda, an award-winning fiction writer and co-founder of PEN Oakland, has been published in numerous literary journals. She is the recipient of Hackney, Fugue, Georgia State University, and other prizes.
Ishmael Reed is author of 28 published books, including his most recent novel, "Juice!" He is also editor of 13 anthologies and numerous magazines, including his online zine Konch, librettist, media commentator, publisher, lecturer, teacher, and founder of the Before Columbus Foundation.
Tennessee Reed has been writing poetry since the age of five. Her "New and Selected Poetry, 1982-2010," forthcoming from World Parade, will be her sixth poetry volume. She is also the author of "Spell Alburquerque, Memoir of a 'Difficult' Student."
ACT II, Scene 6 from Body Parts, a serious comedy in two acts by Ishmael Reed
Seth Corr (Blanche Wallmart, President, John Wilkes Booth Memorial University) began his acting career as a child with South Coast Repertory. His performance as one of the leads in Ishmael Reed's Mother Hubbard helped convince Miguel Algarin to bring the play to the Nuyorican Poets Café.
Sherry Davis (Blanche Wallmart, President, John Wilkes Booth Memorial University), is an actress and comedian. During the 1970s and '80s, she was a member of the Screaming Memes comedy troupe and appeared in repertory theater companies in Santa Cruz and Norfolk, Virginia.
Boadiba (Eva Starr, Professor of English and feminist scholar) is a Haitian poet and translator whose poetry collection, "Under Burning White Sky" (Ishmael Reed Publishing, 2005), provided the basis of her theater work with the same title. Boadiba has also collaborated with Dimensions Dance Company and with Haitian and Cuban dance companies.
Tennessee Reed (Narrator)
450 Florida St.
San Francisco, CA 94110