AMIRI BARAKA, the award-winning American poet, writer and political activist will be reading at 5pm today in the O’Flaherty Theatre in the NUI Galway main concourse.
Amiri Baraka was born Everett LeRoi Jones in 1934 in Newark, New Jersey. He moved to the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1957 and founded Totem Press, which first published works by Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and others. In 1965 he moved to Harlem and founded the Black Arts Repertory Theatre/School.
His reputation as a playwright was established with the production of Dutchman in New York in 1964. The controversial play won an Obie Award for Best Off-Broadway Play and was made into a film. The author of several volumes of poetry, an autobiography, and numerous essays on culture, music and politics, Baraka also founded the jazz/poetry ensemble Blue Ark.
In 1994, Baraka retired as Professor of Africana Studies at the State University of New York in Stony Brook, and in 2002 was named Poet Laureate of New Jersey and Newark Public Schools.
Baraka’s numerous literary honours include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and many others. His book Digging: The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music was selected as a winner of the 31st annual American Book Awards for 2010.
The reading is free and open to the public as well as students. All are welcome.