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Kalamu ya Salaam and Everett Hoagland experiment with language and performance as they push the boundaries of Black poetry.

Selected Bibliography

  • He's the Prettiest: A Tribute to Big Chief Allison "Tootie" Montana's 50 Years of Mardi Gras Indian Suiting. New Orleans: New Orleans Museum of Art, 1997.

  • The Magic of JuJu: An Appreciation of the Black Arts Movement. Chicago: Third World Press, 1998.

  • Tarzan Can - Not Return to Africa But I Can. Clarkston, GA: Visions Three-Thousand, 1996.

  • What is Life? Reclaiming the Black Blues Self. Chicago: Third World Press, 1994.

Discussion Questions

1. What was Salaam's education as a poet? Do you think this is typical of all poets? What other influences on his writing does he cite?

2. Why is his poem about poetry named "The Call of the Wild"? What poetic strategies can you identify in this poem?

3. Analyze his performance of "Blue Zephyr."


Kalamu ya Salaam is a professional editor/writer and arts administrator. He is a senior partner in the New Orleans based public relations firm of Bright Moments. He served as the editor of THE BLACK COLLEGIAN Magazine for thirteen years. Continuing his work in journalism, Mr. Salaam is the Arts & Entertainment Editor for The New Orleans Tribune, Modern Jazz Editor for Wavelength, The New Orleans Music Magazine and a regular contributor to The Louisiana Weekly newspaper. He was a member of the Free Southern Theatre from 1968 through 1972, and a founding member of BLKARTSOUTH (a performing and publishing group). Mr. Salaam's plays have been widely anthologized and a 1987/88 production of his "BLK LOVE SONG #1" won a "Best of Fringe" award from the Manchester Evening news in England.

Kalamu ya Salaam is the author of several books of poetry, including The Blues Merchant (1969), Hofu Ni Kwenu/My Fear Is For You (1973), Pamoja Tutashina/Together We Will Win (1974), Ibura (1976), Revolutionary Love (1978), Iron Flowers (1979), A Nation of Poets (1989). His latest book is Speak the Truth to the People, an anthology of NOMMO Literary Society workshop writers co-edited with Kysha N. Brown. He has also done numerous pamphlets on political issues, particularly the issue of apartheid. He is the leader of the Wordband, a poetry performance ensemble. His latest CD is My Story, My Song. He is co-founder/editor of Runagate Press.


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